Marge from Ash Street reacts to the fire on Ash Street earlier Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)
Updated 7:30 p.m., July 10, 2012
Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest officials confirm the deaths of a 59-year-old male and a 78-year-old female following a fire at a cooperative unit on Ash Street Tuesday afternoon.
The Park Forest Fire Department, paramedics and police responded to a structure fire in the first block of Ash Street on July 10. With smoke still billowing from an upstairs bedroom, fire personnel rescued two smoke-charred, apparently non-responsive individuals from the co-op unit. Fire personnel immediately began chest compressions on the individuals, subsequently transporting them to St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights.
One of several juveniles who witnessed the fire reported hearing a "giant boom."
"And so we started running. We thought it was a barbeque." Autumn Worthington reported seeing "a little fire by the window."
Park Forest Firefighters enter the residence with smoke still coming from windows. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)
The witness said one man began knocking on a series of doors while the juveniles knocked on other doors. They went to see if the car belonging to the individuals inside the burning unit was in it’s spot, "And it was."
The witness said a man called the police and they got the attention of the Ash Street Cooperative office staff.
The juveniles made police aware of the presence of a dog inside the unit, "There was barking," Ms. Worthington said.
Witnesses say the dog was the first to exit the residence when firefighters gained entry. The dog appeared unharmed.
Officials at St. James had no immediate comment on the condition of the two who were removed from the unit, but officials in Park Forest later confirmed the death of the two individuals. The preliminary cause of the blaze is believed to be careless smoking.
Response: Why We Posted — And Did Not Delete — The Video of the Ash Street Fire Rescue Attempt (Link added July 12, 2012)