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Police officers lead residents out of burning building

Updated: January 4, 2013 7:27AM

Residents of a South Side apartment building that caught fire early Thursday were escorted to safety by two Chicago Police officers who found themselves in the right place at the right time.

Police say the two officers were on routine patrol near East 66th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just after midnight when they saw smoke coming from the window of a first floor apartment.

By the time the two officers got out of their cruiser, the apartment window was engulfed in flames, a police News Affairs official said.

Rushing into the apartment, the officers knocked on apartment doors, rousing residents of the six-unit building whom they then led to safety ­— including an elderly, handicapped resident who lived on the second floor, police said.

Police vehicles helped keep the residents warm during the fire, according to a statement from police News Affairs, which added that most of the residents were able to return home after firefighters extinguished the blaze.

No one was injured in the fire, police said, and the cause remained under investigation Friday morning.

Fire department officials could not be reached for comment early Friday.

Police officials declined to name the two officers.

A supervisor at the Grand Crossing police district, where the two are assigned, said both officers were back out on patrol and did not want to draw attention to themselves for their deed.

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