Attempted Rescue: Police Officer and Tow Truck Driver

In relation to our last post about fire ordinances, there was a fire early Tuesday morning at an 3-story complex on 130th street, near the far south side of Chicago. Sergeant Mike Saladino, a veteran of 11 years, was on a routine patrol early Tuesday morning around 3:15 a.m. when he heard there was a fire about two blocks from his location. He responded immediately and arrived in a matter of minutes. A tow truck driver, who was originally there to repossess a car, was already on the scene and had just smashed open the jammed door of the first floor apartment. The tow truck driver had a fire extinguisher in hand and was attempting to put out the blaze. Two small children were reportedly trapped in the burning building. The American Burn Association state that there are approximately 1.1 million burn injuries in the United States each year severe enough that they warrant medical attention. Experienced accident and injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. understand the immediacy and sensitivity required in handling cases that involve burn injuries.

Unfortunately Officer Saladino and the tow truck driver were unable to rescue the two small children. The flames were too extreme, and the smoke too blinding. According to the Chicago Tribune, Officer Saladino was very distraught that he could not save the children. He said he could not stop thinking about his twin daughters at home, who were around the same age as the victims. He kept thinking what if it had been them in the fire. That’s what drove him to run into the burning building. The Tribune reports that Saladino was very emotional and could not bear to look at the two small bodies of the victims brought out once the fire was put out.

The fire was started by a 6-year old boy attempting reheat some pizza on the stove top in the kitchen. His pregnant mother was asleep in another room. She was a single mother doing the best she could with 3 kids and one on the way. She and the 6 year old boy managed to escape the fire, but it claimed the lives of her other two children Destiny Myles (3) and Jeremiah (1). She attempted to run back in and save the kids twice but passed out due to heavy smoke. The pregnant mother is currently in critical condition in the hospital. There is no word yet if the complex was completely up to fire code. If the building is older than 1975, it is not required to have a sprinkler system. The officer and tow truck drivers are definitely very brave men to have run into a burning building. Sadly fire fighters did not arrive on the scene in time. If you or someone you love have been involved in a fire, please contact accident injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. who can help assess the specifics of your situation discuss appropriate choices with you.

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