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Chicago apartment fire kills at least 4, injures 1

An apartment building fire killed at least four people Saturday morning on the Chicago’s North Side, authorities said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An apartment building fire killed three men and a woman Saturday on the city’s North Side, and two other suspicious fires were reported nearby around the same time, authorities said.

Investigators were looking into possible links between the fires, which took place within blocks of each other in the city’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, named for its proximity to Wrigley Field, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

The deadly fire appears to have started in a front stairwell, where there were no obvious ignition sources, and the Police Department’s Bomb and Arson Unit was investigating, Langford said. The unit routinely is sent to fatal fires, police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak said.

A man who jumped from a third-story window was listed in stable condition at a hospital, Langford said.

The two other fires were minor and did not result in any injuries, Langford said. At least one, located “around the corner” from the fatal fire, likely started in an entry hall, Langford said.

Authorities were looking into possible links between the fires, but answers about a cause or whether the fatal fire was deliberately set will take awhile as damage was “pretty severe,” police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.

Firefighters were on the scene within about two minutes after the fire was reported, just before 7 a.m. The blaze was confined to the second and third floors and extinguished within a half-hour.

Three victims were found in one apartment and one was found in a second apartment, Langford said.

The victims’ identities were withheld pending notification of relatives, the medical examiner’s office said.

Several firefighters suffered minor injuries, including smoke inhalation, Langford said.

The three-story brick building has more than a dozen units and stands about a block from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.