An 8-year-old girl jumped to safety from a third-floor window of a burning home in Washington Park after throwing a mattress to the ground.
Firefighters then entered the home by ladder late Wednesday in the 6100 block of South Wabash Avenue and rescued her younger brothers, ages 2 and 5, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
“You have to think about how innovative this child was… And we’re lucky we rescued the other children,” department spokesman Frank Velez said.
The three children were treated for smoke inhalation at Comer Children’s Hospital, where they were upgraded from serious to good condition, Velez said.
No adults were home at the time of the blaze, he said.
The mother of the children was located later in the morning, according to Chicago police spokeswoman Sally Bown. No charges were currently pending, she said.
The fire broke out shortly before midnight Wednesday in the rear kitchen of an apartment at a housing development, but the cause of the fire remained under investigation, Velez said. He said there were no indications it was intentional.
The blaze was contained to one unit, Velez said. The 12-unit apartment complex was partially evacuated, and residents took shelter in a warming bus, he said. There were no other injuries or displacements, Velez said.
About 20 fire department vehicles and nearly 40 firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, he said.
The department initially provided different ages for the children.
Citing privacy laws, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokeswoman La’Kiaya White declined to say if the agency was investigating the incident.