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Chicago FF caught by crewmember while falling through floor

The firefighter was able to continue fighting the blaze after the mayday call

chicago mayday firefighter through floor grabbed by crewmember

Photo/Chicago Fire Department

Liam Ford
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A firefighter who fell through the floor of a burning West Englewood home Thursday night, triggering an alert for a firefighter in danger, was caught by one of his crew and immediately went back to fighting the fire that was apparently accidentally started by squatters, officials said.

A neighbor alerted those living in the home in the 2000 block of West 68th Street, about the fire about 10:30 p.m. after the neighbor saw fire coming from the home’s basement, according to Sally Bown, a police spokesperson. People in the home were able to get out uninjured.

Once firefighters were on the scene, a firefighter fell through the floor, triggering what’s known as a mayday call, but was grabbed as he was falling and was all right, according to the Fire Department’s media office. He was “OK and back on the pipe,” meaning he went back to hosing down the fire, according to a department tweet.

After a burned mattress was found in the basement, the office of fire investigations believes an open flame might have caused the fire, although the case of the fire was still being investigated, police said.

The owner of the home died three years ago, so authorities believe the people living in the home may have been squatters.


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