Two firefighters died after a wall collapsed during a 3-11 alarm fire at an abandoned South Side commercial building this morning, authorities said. Fourteen other firefighters were injured, including two who were trapped with the ones who died.
Police squad cars escorted two ambulances north on Lake Shore Drive to Northwestern as ramps were closed to clear it of traffic, according to fire communications. One of the firefighters taken there has died, sources said. The condition of the other one was not known.
Four of the firefighters were listed in critical condition, another eight in stable, according to Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Robert Hoff.
“We got firemen unaccounted for,’’ according to Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford who was on the scene at 7:30 a.m. “Right now we’re working to get inside the building,’’ Langford said.
As of 7:24 a.m. the alarm has been elevated to a 3-11 and an EMS Plan II, which automatically sends about ten ambulances to the scene, is in effect, Knight said.
Knight said the building is 40 feet by 125 feet.
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Cnn.com has live video here
WLS-TV slideshow from chopper
Live Chicago Fire Department audio here and here
Fire Traps Firefighters in Building on Chicago’s South Side; 3 Rescued, 1 Still Missing: MyFoxCHICAGO.com