CHICAGO — One man is dead and two people are hospitalized following a partial building collapse on Chicago’s West Side.
According to Chicago Fire spokesperson Larry Langford, the adult male, believed to be 53, was pulled from under the heavy debris in the 3400 block of W. Jackson in East Garfield Park. He was pronounced dead at the scene and taken to Stroger Hospital.
Firefighters also pulled two men from the rubble. Paramedics rushed the injured males, aged 68 and 32, to Mt. Sinai Hospital in serious-to-critical condition.
A firefighter was also injured.
Langford added that a facade from the top of the building fell onto the porch, likely causing the collapse.
Bystanders who spoke with WGN News, all three adults were sitting on the porch at the time of the collapse.
“[Firefighters] brought two guys out on a stretcher, and they put them in the ambulance, but they were still working on a third person to try and get him up from under the rubble,” neighbor Cassandra Stewart said. “He was under the bricks, and from what I heard, the only thing you could see was his face. All the rest of his body was covered with bricks.”
Stewart adds that the building caught fire just last year.
According to city inspection records, Chicago officials have previously cited the property for eight building code violations. In 2015, a citation indicted that the building owner, Katie Mae Simmons, failed to maintain the exterior walls of the building, which an inspector said could cause rain to enter and result in rotting boards.
Most recently, the building was in foreclosure in 2018 but the case was later dismissed. Katie Mae Simmons filed for bankruptcy just weeks ago.
The case is still pending.
Tuesday’s event left nearby residents shaken and worried about the condition of homes neighboring the block.
“I’m worried now,” resident Shevonnie Williams said. “Look at the building next door. It’s about to rain and it might collapse.”