Feb. 26--Two firefighters were hurt when a porch collapsed at an extra-alarm fire in Gresham on the South Side this morning, sending them through the floor into the basement, officials said.
The collapse trapped both firefighters and officials called a mayday as firefighters scrambled to free them. They were finally able to reach the two by breaking through a side window, and the injured firefighters were taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital.
The firefighters, both veterans of the department, suffered relatively minor injuries but the situation "could have been a lot worse," said Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas.
"Had we had fire in that basement, things could have been a different story here," he said.
The firefighters were brought to safety within minutes, according to Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
"Whenever you've got a mayday, you've got a tense situation," he said. "They went in right away and got them."
By 8:15 a.m., one firefighter had been released from the hospital. The other was expected to be released shortly, according to Langford.
The 2-11 alarm fire broke out about 3:40 a.m. in vacant home in the 8800 block of South Parnell Avenue, spreading to a house next door. A family of five was living in the second home but escaped uninjured.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Tribune photographer John J. Kim contributed.
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