CHICAGO, Aug. 26 (UPI) — Two of four Chicago firefighters injured when a fire suddenly flared in an attic were released from hospitals, Fire Commission Robert Hoff said.
One firefighter was treated and released from Loyola University Hospital Friday morning and the other was treated at Mount Sinai Hospital Thursday night and released.
“It’s a matter of seconds before we would have had a different outcome,” Hoff said at the Loyola hospital, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Two firefighters still hospitalized are a 52-year-old captain who suffered burns to his ears and back of the neck and a 31-year-old man with burns to his left hand and forehead.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported both men had first- and second-degree burns and the younger firefighter also also had third-degree burns.
Hoff said their conditions had improved.
“In spite of what happened, they’re going to survive,” he said. “That’s the good news.”
The fire began in the basement of a 1 1/2-story home in the West Englewood neighborhood and spread through walls to the attic.
The four firefighters had been ventilating the roof and trying to put out the blaze, unaware of flames burning inside walls behind them when the fire suddenly “lit up on them,” Hoff said.
“This is an example of how extremely dangerous and unpredictable this job is,” said Tom Ryan, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2. “There is no such thing as a routine fire.”
The cause of the blaze was under investigation.