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Uptown in the News  

November 19, 2003
One woman killed, eight people injured during Malden Avenue fire
By Tricia Parker, Medill News Service

One woman was killed and eight people injured after a large fire broke out in an Uptown apartment building early Wednesday morning, Nov. 12, the Chicago Fire Department said.

The fire consumed most of the second and third floors of a three-story apartment building at 4506 N. Malden Ave., fire department spokesman Kevin MacGregor said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

In a dramatic rescue, 10 people climbed to safety from upper-story windows onto ladders extended from the ground. Firefighters also led people to safety by guiding them through several stairwells in the building.

MacGregor said about 130 firefighters worked to fight the blaze, which broke out around 3:30 a.m.

An interior stairwell collapsed, injuring two firefighters. And another firefighter suffered burns and smoke inhalation. All three were taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where they were listed in fair condition. Two were released later that day, and the third has been upgraded to good condition, a hospital spokesman said.

Five other people were injured, several of whom suffered smoke inhalation, Fire Department officials said. All were listed in fair condition at Masonic and Weiss Memorial hospitals.

Firefighters believe the fire started on the second floor, where they found the woman who had died.

The Fire Department said the woman was found in the hallway of her apartment; the cause of her death has not been determined. Fire officials believe the fire started in her apartment.

In a separate incident later that day, a smoky fire at a 31-unit apartment building on the 2500 block of West Touhy Avenue left three people dead and more than 30 others injured, authorities said.

Two men and a woman who appeared to be in her 40s were killed at the fire, which occurred around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, police spokeswoman Alice Casanova said last week.

Fire Department spokesman Patrick Howe said the fire was mostly contained to the basement of the four-story structure, but heavy smoke spread throughout the building.

Thirteen people were treated at the scene, he said.

Seventeen people were treated for smoke inhalation and released from local hospitals, Casnova said.

Associated Press contributed to this story.

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