A house fire last night in Illinois has claimed the life of a firefighter and an occupant, as well as critically injuring a second firefighter.
According to local news reports, 28-year old Brian Carey of the Homewood Fire Department died and a second firefighter sustained severe burns while fighting a fire Tuesday night. An unidentifed occupant of the home is also reported to have been killed.
Firefighters responded to the blaze at approximately 9:00 p.m. and had reportedly made an attempt to rescue a wheelchair-bound man from the home. Firefighters were sucessful in removing the man from the home. The man's wife had escaped the fire and was taken to a local hospital.
It is not confirmed, but local news stations report that oxygen tanks inside the home may have exploded, contributing to a rapid fire growth.
The Homewood Fire Department has scheduled a press conference for 10:00 a.m. this morining.
Firefighter Brian Carey was recently sworn in to the the department on February 2010.
The father of a fireman killed fighting a blaze in south suburban Homewood said he is "numb but proud" this morning.
Brian Colin Carey, 28, died doing what he loved most, according to his father, also Brian. He said his son was made a full-time paid Homewood firefighter less than two months ago. Speaking from the family's Evergreen Park home, Carey said his son had wanted to be a fireman since he was five years old.
"He died doing what he loved. He helped rescue those elderly people last night," Carey said.
WGN: Family of Homewood fireman reacts to his death
Karra Kropas, 21, suffered first- and second-degree burns and sin listed in stable conditon at the University of Chicago Hospital burn unit. Mayor Richard Hofeld says her injuries are not life-threatening.
Updates will be provided as they develop.