2 die in Back of the Yards basement fire

A woman and man died in a fire that may have been caused by smoking on a mattress Friday morning at an apartment building in Back of the Yards on the South Side.

The blaze broke out in a basement about 5 a.m. in the 1400 block of West Garfield Boulevard, according to Chicago fire spokesman Larry Langford.


Inside, firefighters found the two victims a few feet from the basement front door, Langford said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified them as 56-year-old Joyce Ann Hunt and 83-year-old Bobby G. Young.

"The fire looks like it was mainly a mattress burning. The occupants were known to be smokers, and there were no working smoke detectors inside the home," he said.

The pair was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center and pronounced dead, fire officials said.

The fire was confined to the basement unit, according to Langford, who didn’t immediately have word about how many other people were displaced from the building.

Credit: Chicago Fire Department