‘Running her to the ambulance,’ firefighters, EMS try to rescue girl, 3

Chicago Fire spokesman Larry Langford describes first responders' efforts at a fatal apartment fire


Rosemary Sobol
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A three-year-old girl died during a fire in the Bronzeville neighborhood early Saturday.

Emergency calls to 911 started coming in at 1:28 a.m. to a six-unit brick building at 606 E. 43rd St. and the first fire engine got there four minutes later, said Chicago Fire Dept. spokesman Larry Langford.

Firefighters burst into a second-floor apartment to begin their attack while heavy flames blew out its back door as smoke was billowing out its front.

“It had been going for a while,” Langford said of the fire.

“In their primary search, they found 3-year-old Story I. Chamba in a front room,” according to Langford and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. “They were yelling for EMS to meet them outside and a firefighter brought the child out in his arms.”

Story was in cardiac arrest so they immediately placed her on a gurney and began life support and CPR while also getting her to an ambulance that was half a block away.

“They were literally running down the street with the gurney,” Langford said. “They rushed her to Comer and she was pronounced dead within minutes.”

Story suffered second-degree burns but the smoke was what probably killed her, according to Langford.

Her brother, a 13-year-old, was outside when his mom, who was at work at the time of the fire, rushed home.

“He was in shock,” said Langford of the boy, who was not physically hurt.

The office of fire investigation said the blaze began in the kitchen and it was “incendiary” in nature — not meaning it was suspicious but meaning a human was involved with its ignition. It possibly could have been a cooking fire or began with candles, but Langford wasn’t sure.

There were smoke detectors present in the building and its first floor was unoccupied. No one else was hurt.

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©2022 Chicago Tribune. Visit chicagotribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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