A deadly house fire in Oak Lawn claimed the life of an elderly woman and gravely injured her caregiver early Saturday morning.
Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets said the first call of a fire at 10124 Lawrence Court at 2:42 a.m. When firefighters rolled up on the scene at 2:47 a.m., flames were venting from the living room area.
Firefighters broke through the locked front door where they located an older woman believed to be the caregiver in the hallway.
The second elderly victim was found deceased on the couch in the living room. She is believed to be in her 70s.
The caregiver was transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she remains in grave condition. Both women reportedly suffered from smoke inhalation.
Sheets said there were no working smoke detectors inside the home.
“We had a situation where some elderly people didn’t have an early warning device,” the fire chief said. “We believe they were overcome by smoke.”
An Oak Lawn firefighter was also injured and being treated for an elbow injury.
He did not know who placed the initial 911 call, if came from inside the house or a neighbor, but learned en route to scene from emergency dispatchers that it was an elderly woman and her caregiver.
Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Other fire companies assisting included Alsip, Evergreen Park, Hometown and North Palos.
The preliminary cause of the fire is believed to be electrical in nature. The Illinois State Fire Marshal and investigators remained on the scene Saturday morning.
The names are not being released until their families are notified. The Oak Lawn Police Department is making notifications.
Sheets said Saturday’s is the first fatal fire he’s encountered in his five years as Oak Lawn fire chief, and possibly the first in over a decade.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families,” the fire chief said. “Any fire related death is a tragic situation. It impacts the families, the firefighters and the community.”
Patch will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.