Chicago firefighters rescue girl, dog from burning house

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - A house fire in West Garfield Park displaced 17 people including 10 kids Saturday morning. The mid-morning blaze ripped through the home in the 3800 block of West Monroe St., sending family members scrambling for safety.

Firefighters rescued a man in a wheelchair, a little girl who was asleep in the basement and a puppy from the burning building.

“My niece and my little cousin they were coming out of the room they were telling me like Anthony! Uncle Anthony!  The closet is on fire!” said Anthony Watkins who was asleep on the second floor, but awoke to the smell of smoke. “I panicked so hard, I was so traumatized, so scared that my intention was to get everybody out of the house all the kids.”

Donnell Brown, 12, was asleep in the basement and didn't know anything was wrong until his uncle forced him out and he looked up at the home.

“Fire, a lot of fire coming through the window,” said Brown.

Home healthcare worker Janice Burns was at the home on the first floor helping her patient who's confined to a wheelchair, when she heard the kids on the second floor screaming about the fire. She called 911, then rushed her patient to safety.

“We got all the kids out, it was his twin that was left in the house,” said Burns. “I told the fire department there's a little girl still trapped in there they went in first they said they didn't see her."

Moments later a firefighter found the girl in basement of the home along with the family’s puppy. Chicago firefighters contained the blaze to the second story which is considered inhabitable.

Now Watkins is salvaging what he can that wasn't destroyed. He's still in shock about the mid-morning fire that left his 16 family members without a home.

“Thank God we are all alive, the kids alive thank God for that,” said Watkins.

The Red Cross and the city's Human Services department are now assisting the family.

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