Firefighters at the home on the 2000 block of South 9th Ave. on Friday night. | ABC 7/Captured News
Saturday, December 24, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The victim of a Friday night house fire that happened on the 2000 block of South 9th Ave. has been identified as Hattie Harper, 101, according to Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley.
Firefighters were dispatched to the blaze at around 10 p.m., according to Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh.
“Upon arrival, firefighters discovered, and found themselves battling, a fire in the bedroom of a single family home,” Bronaugh said. “An older gentleman was rushed to the hospital, suffering from both burns and smoke inhalation.”
Firefighters said that the man, 73, was rushed to Loyola University Medical Center. His condition is so far unknown. Talley added that the man, who still hasn’t been identified, may have been trying to rescue his elderly mother from the blaze.
Bronaugh said that, while firefighters were extinguishing the fire, Harper’s body was discovered in a bedroom, where he believes the fire started.
“Although no official cause of the fire was named, foul play is not suspected in the origin of this fire,” the chief said.
Talley said that, although he doesn’t know with precision what caused the fire, Harper’s death still shows the necessity of numerous local resources in the lives of senior citizens, many of which — such as a service provided by Proviso Township that dispatches carpenters to help the elderly safely setup appliances — residents may not know about.
“I’m going to make sure a representative from the Township is at the next two MAPS [Maywood Alternative Policing Strategies] meetings,” Talley said.
Bronaugh added that Friday’s fire should reinforce how essential it is for residents to have fire and carbon monoxide alarms that are working properly.
In a statement released last month, Bronaugh said that, due to the winter season approaching, “we will soon find ourselves having to both initiate and maintain efforts to keep warm in our homes.”
The chief implored residents to “have present and operating smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your place of residence. The devices are not expensive and can be found at local neighborhood stores. The presence and proper operations of both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can notify and protect residents from the devastation resulting from fire and carbon monoxide.” VFP