Man killed in West Englewood fire identified, 7 others displaced

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read

The Chicago police and fire departments Sunday were looking into a blaze in a residential building on the city’s South Side that killed one man, left a woman seriously burned and displaced seven others who lived there, officials said.

The fire first was reported to police about 12:15 a.m. Sunday in the 6300 block of South Honore Street, according to a police statement. The residence, a two-flat apartment building, was burning when firefighters arrived and one man who lived on the first floor was dead when rescue workers arrived, said Larry Merritt, a fire spokesman. It wasn’t immediately clear whether both stories were lashed by flames and the department doesn’t release damage estimates, he said.

Lonnie McDowell, 61, who lived on the first floor, died in the blaze, according to information from the medical examiner’s office. Merritt said the Office of Fire Investigations was working to determine a cause but one had not been released as of Sunday morning.

“I don’t know if it is suspicious, I don’t have that information,” Merritt said, adding, “The report may not be done.”

Police were assisting with the investigation but a spokesman could not say whether the fire was thought to have been the result of foul play. Preliminary information suggests a different cause, however.

“The fire appears to be electrical and originated on the 1st floor,” according to the police statement.

Police said a 55-year-old woman also was injured. Merritt said she was taken to St. Bernard’s Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, “with burns and smoke inhalation.”

Seven other people were reported as displaced, according to police. Firefighters went around the West Englewood neighborhood, passing out smoke detectors to neighbors, as is customary practice following a fatal fire.

Check back for updates.

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