Chicago, ILTwo firefighters have been killed and 16 others injured while fighting an extra-alarm fire
Wednesday morning. Six of the injured firefighters were rushed to hospital in critical condition, Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff told CBSNews.
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According to an eyewitness report, three firefighters were on a ladder over the roof of a vacant drycleaners on Chicago's south side, where the fire had broken out, when the roof collapsed, sucking them into the inferno. Firefighters who were inside the burning building when the roof and wall collapsed were the most seriously injured. Firefighters who went into the building searching for their colleagues were also injured. After four firefighters went missing for a period of time, a 'May Day' was issued. All the firefighters were eventually accounted for.
The fire broke out around 7:00 am. Firemen arrived at the scene quickly, but by 7:24 am the alarm had been increased to a 3-11 with EMS Plan 2 put into effect, automatically sending about 10 ambulances to the scene, fire Media Affairs spokesperson Will Knight told CBS 2 News.
The nearby fire hydrants were frozen hampering efforts to put the fire out, but by 8:35 am the blaze had been extinguished.