Two Men Sought In Houston Avenue, Chicago Fire

(Chicago) -- Police Saturday afternoon were searching for two men seen running from the scene of an apartment building fire on the Southeast Side that left 14 people displaced.

Witnesses to the early morning fire at 9127 S. Houston Av. told police they saw two men running from the building, jump into a white four-door Mercury, and flee southbound on Houston Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer JoAnn Taylor.

She had no further description of the men, and no suspects had been arrested as of 3:45 p.m., Taylor said.

The Chicago Fire Department got the call of the fire at the apartment building, measuring about 150 by 100 feet, at about 5 a.m., Fire Media Cmdr. Will Knight said. A box alarm was immediately called, he said.

Some of the flames spread to the building next door, Knight said. He could not provide the address of the second building.

The alarm was struck at about 6 a.m., Knight said. The first and second floors of the building where the fire began sustained severe smoke and water damage, he said.

The cause and origin of the fire remained under investigation, Knight said.

Fourteen people from three different families were displaced as a result of the fire, according to spokeswoman Chaunda Smith of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

The Red Cross gave the victims "client assistance cards" to purchase shelter, food and replacement clothing wherever they desire, Smith said. The maximum limit on the cards, which function like debit cards, are determined on a case-by-case basis, she said.

Neither Smith nor Knight could say which building the displaced persons were living in.

The police Bomb and Arson Section was investigating, Taylor said.