CHICAGO (WLS) –Â Police are investigating a “suspicious” apartment fire that killed three children and a man on Chicago’s Southeast Side early Tuesday morning.
Chicago Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Arriel Gray Jr. said an infant girl, a 4-year-old girl, a 6-year-old girl and a man were killed in the extra-alarm fire that broke out in the 8100-block of S. Essex Avenue just before 1:35 a.m. Tuesday.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy flames on the second and third floors of the three-story courtyard apartment building, Gray said. The fire was upgraded to three alarms just before 1:55 a.m. Gray said about 200 CFD personnel responded to the scene.
The stairwells were burned out, making it difficult to get to residents. Gray said that’s when firefighters went into defensive mode. Neighbors said they had to jump out of the building to get out alive and that they saw a man with an infant jump from the third floor.