Chicago building collapse: 1 dead, 2 seriously injured in Garfield Park on West Jackson Avenue, fire officials say

CHICAGO (WLS) – One man died and two men were seriously injured after part of a home collapsed onto its front porch in the Garfield Park neighborhood.

Chopper7 passed W. Jackson’s 3400 block as Chicago firefighters pulled the man from beneath the rubble. He appeared to be talking as he was carried on a stretcher.

Chicago fire officials said a 32-year-old man and a 68-year-old man were critically injured and taken to Mt. Sinai for treatment.

Fire officials said a 53-year-old man trapped under the rubble died at the scene.

Officials said the part of the building that collapsed onto the porch was known as the “cockpit”. Officials said the broken brick caused it to fail. The neighborhood heard a crash.

“It was a big crash and you felt the ground move,” said Teena Branch, a neighbor and witness.

Greg Augustus, the house’s closest neighbor, ran to help while firefighters were still on their way.

“I was able to lift two to three stones off one of the people who was stuck in the middle. One was screaming in pain and the other was trying to stay as calm as possible,” he said.

Relatives said a father, eldest son and a cousin were sitting on the front porch of their home when the upper part of the house collapsed, crushing the porch and the men on it.

“They were shouting ‘Help,’ he said someone else was trapped in there,” Branch said of them being the victims when firefighters dug them out of the rubble.

According to Chicago’s Department of Buildings, the home failed two inspections, including one in 2015 that uncovered more than half a dozen alleged rule violations. One of those violations was due to “failure to maintain the exterior walls of the building”, with city records stating “gross has been removed”.

Inspectors were on the scene trying to determine if the home was stable enough to stand or if it needed urgent demolition.

The family living in the house has been relocated.

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