CHERYL V. JACKSON and TINA SFONDELES
Chicago Sun Times
An 18-month-old girl was rescued by firefighters from a burning building Tuesday in the West Side's Garfield Park neighborhood, officials said.
The incident happened at 4:50 p.m. in a two-story, three-unit building on the 2700 block of West Wilcox, fire officials said.
Firefighter David Doyle said when he exited his truck he saw a woman screaming about a baby being upstairs. He forced an upper door open and felt through the heavy smoke to grab a child's arm.
"I rushed her out as fast as I could," Doyle said in a news conference.
The child was gasping for air, he said. "There was a very glossy look to her eyes. She was struggling to live."
Paramedics on the scene started treating her. She started breathing on her own, said Thomas Kalicky, a paramedic who treated her.
He and fellow paramedic Chris Cimorelli transferred the girl to an area hospital where she was in stable condition. She was brought to the hospital in critical condition and on advanced life support, officials said.
"It is very rewarding," Doyle said. "I've got three daughters of my own. It all comes into play. The right place at the right time."
Kalicky said, "This is what we do. This is our job. Thank God, it worked out today."
Two other "young people" who were in the building during the fire were treated at the scene and refused transport, fire officials said.
The cause of the fire, which significantly damaged the building, remained unclear Tuesday, officials said.
Copyright 2009 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
October 7, 2009