Patrol officer rescues women & children from Lawndale fire

Patrol officer rescues women & children from Lawndale fire

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Three-flat apartment in the 1900 block of South Drake Three-flat apartment in the 1900 block of South Drake
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A man and his mother were rescued, and another family was safely evacuated after a fire started in a third floor apartment Saturday morning in the West Side Lawndale neighborhood.

A Chicago Police patrol officer rushed into a burning apartment building Saturday morning to alert its residents.

"I couldn't see anything," Officer Edward Leighton said.

Despite the smoke pouring out three-flat apartment in the 1900 block of South Drake, Officer Leighton decided to go in.

On the second floor was Zabrina Washington with her 6 children and 6 pets.

"I had just got off the phone with 911 and someone came and I hadn't heard the fire trucks," Washington said.

That was Officer Leighton. The Washington family then told the officer their neighbors on the third floor were also home, as the fire sprouted out of those windows.

In the back of the building, a 54-year-old woman was trapped and trying to get out, authorities said.

"I managed to get on the second floor rear porch of this building at 1943 and I kept in constant communication with her, for her not to pass out or be overcome by the smoke," Officer Leighton added.

The woman's 21-year-old son had already jumped from the third floor, according to fire officials.

"We were also able to rescue a person that had made his way, from this roof he jumped the window, into a precarious chicken wired top and made his way out," Chicago Fire Chief Thomas Sweeney said.

Both were treated for smoke inhalation.

Their neighbors got a chance to speak with the officer that rescued them.

Washington told the officer, 'thank you, I really appreciate it', cause most officers wouldn't have done what he did."

"I'm just glad that everybody made it out, ok. No first responders were hurt. And…just glad that everyone is going to get to see their mothers tomorrow," Leighton said.

"I usually deal with [drugs and stolen cars]," said Leighton, a patrol officer of eight years. "I wouldn't want to be a fireman, that was scary."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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