CHICAGO - A woman was critically injured in a house fire that killed her son on Chicago's West Side early Wednesday morning.
Firefighters and police officers responded to a fire at a home located in the 1200 block of South Kedvale Avenue in North Lawndale at approximately 1:15 a.m.
A porch at the residence collapsed, injuring two police officers who arrived on scene first. The officers were attempting to help get people out of the house.
A 75-year-old woman, identified as Dessie Street, was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. The officers were in serious but stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
The woman's son, 37-year-old Carlos Street, was unaccounted for after the fire was put out. Crews searched for him and equipment was brought to help move rubble. The gas for the home was turned off before search and rescue entered.
Chicago fire officials say they found the remains of the missing man in the fire debris around 11 a.m.
Chicago Fire Department Media Director, Larry Langford confirmed the discovery.
"Due to the collapse of the building and the extensive fire, the fire department was unable to make a primary search. So we had to wait for the building department to provide heavy equipment to be able to literally take the building apart. Starting in the rear, there was some indication he might be in the back. We found the remains on the first floor of the building. Don’t know if he was trying to get out or not. The individual was special needs, and we’re getting more information on that from the family," Langford said.
He likely tried to flee but was crushed by debris near the front door, Chicago Fire Department officials said.
Dessie’s brother, Joseph Johnson, came to the house when he heard about the fire. He said he planned to celebrate her birthday with her tomorrow.
She suffered burns and smoke inhalation and was intubated.
"She’s doing a little better, we’re praying for the best, so that’s the good thing," Johnson said.
Johnson said Carlos was a "real sweet kid." He enjoyed video games and had a talent for working with computers, Johnson said.
He lived with his mom, a seamstress who ran her business out of the home and had lived there for 25 years.
Relatives and neighbors described her as a leader and community matriarch who would always lend a helping hand. She was often available to provide a last-minute hem on a dress or to patch a hole.
"She’s like a mother to everybody in the neighborhood," Johnson said of his older sister.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. However, Langford said it may be hard to determine given the extent of the damage.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.