1 killed, 6 taken to hospitals in Chicago high-rise fire

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Chicago authorities say one person died and six others were taken to hospitals Wednesday as firefighters responded to a blaze at an apartment building on the city’s south side, battling flames on several floors as snow fell

CHICAGO — Chicago authorities said one person died and six people were taken to hospitals Wednesday as firefighters responded to a blaze at an apartment building on the city’s south side, battling flames on several floors as snow fell.

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Sophia King, the area’s councilor, said the person who died was found in the apartment where firefighters believe the fire started.

She said five out of six people taken to hospitals are in good condition; an older woman was watched more closely. King said a firefighter was assessed for injuries at the scene but was in good condition.

Video from outside the building in the Kenwood neighborhood showed bright orange flames on several floors. At least nine floors appeared to be damaged by blown windows and burn marks around the window frames.

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King said many of the building’s residents are elderly people.

“I’ll tell you when I first walked up there I was horrified and my heart sank,” she said. “But after discussions with the leadership, first responders, they have the situation under control.”

Barbara Joiner, a 69-year-old resident, stood outside the building with other neighbors as the snow continued to fall. Joiner said she is acting as a janitor for another woman who lives in the part of the building affected by the fire and was anxiously trying to reach her.

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“Oh my God,” she said, remembering her reaction when she saw the flames once she was outside. “These flames are still rising.”

The Chicago Fire Department said in social media posts that the fire was initially reported shortly after 10 a.m. on the 18th floor of the building.

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