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Smoking materials cause Humboldt Park blaze

Misplaced smoking materials are to blame for an early Wednesday fire in the West Side Humboldt Park neighborhood that injured two men.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 1152 N. Christiana Ave. about 12:20 a.m., according to Fire Media Affairs.

An EMS Plan I – which automatically calls ambulances to the scene – was called for a still-and-box alarm fire that started there just before midnight, according to Fire Media Affairs.

When the blaze started, smoke was visible from the fourth floor, according to Fire Media Affairs.

Two male victims were initially taken to area hospitals, one in serious-to-critical condition to the Saint Mary campus of Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, and the other in fair-to-serious condition to Norwegian-American Hospital, according to Fire Media Affairs.

One man, 51, suffered more serious smoke inhalation injuries than initially thought and was transferred to John H. Stroger Jr. of Cook County where he is now in serious condition, a Harrison District lieutenant said. The other man, a 52-year-old, has been upgraded to good condition early Wednesday.

Careless use of smoking materials caused the accidental fire, which was confined to two units on the fourth floor where the men lived, the lieutenant said.

The building, which contained between 40 and 50 units, had to be evacuated, and police ordered a cooling bus for residents while crews worked, the lieutenant said. The apartments of the men injured were deemed uninhabitable, but no other residents are displaced.

Unconfirmed dispatch reports indicate two men had to be rescued from the building.



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