Officer rescues man in wheelchair from house fire


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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Flames swept through an Englewood home on Wednesday morning, and if it weren’t for the swift action of a passing Chicago police officer, a man in a wheelchair said he wouldn’t be alive.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reported, the officer was being treated at the University of Chicago Medical Center for minor smoke inhalation on Wednesday afternoon. To say that the man he saved is grateful would be an understatement.

“I just thank the Chicago PD and the firefighters for coming as fast as they did because sometimes not everyone is so lucky – and I just appreciate everyone who did what they did. ‘they did today, “said Joseph Ortiz.

The fire started around 9:30 a.m. at a house in the 6700 block of South Normal Avenue. The police ran to the house and started knocking on doors to enter and tell everyone to get out.

An officer found Ortiz in his wheelchair trapped upstairs and took him and the chair to safety.

“Officer McCoy, he came and grabbed me. I don’t even know how he found me in that smoky room like that, and he found me, put me in my wheelchair. So it’s a blessing that he can even get me down in the wheelchair like that, ”Ortiz said. “I hope he’s okay. I hope he is doing well.

Ortiz said if the police hadn’t shown up and told him what was going on, “I would probably be dead. I would probably be dead. All I can say is that I thank everyone who came to help me.

Police said officers were able to help a total of four people escape the blaze.

“It was a little scary, man. It was just – I didn’t even know the house was on fire, “Ortiz said,” As soon as I walked out of the room and saw the smoke, he was an officer, there was a lot of officers who came in and tried to help us.

Once again, paramedics took a police officer to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. Police said he would have to be released from the hospital later today.

“It’s amazing,” Ortiz said. “Sometimes we look at the police and we kind of feel a way, but today is just a lesson to show. They are there to help us in all kinds of ways, in all kinds, and I appreciate them for their work.

The cause of the fire remained unknown Wednesday evening.

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