A homeowner suffered serious burns in a fire at a Jefferson Park home this afternoon that also left at least one dog dead and nine dogs injured, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
The victim, a man believed to be in his 50s, had much of his clothing burned and was taken in serious-to-critical condition after the fire about 3 p.m. in the 5000 block of West Winona Avenue, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. The homeowner was about to go back into the house when an off-duty firefighter came on the scene and kept him outside, Langford said.
"He might not have made it back out," if the firefighter hadn't prevented him from going back in, Langford said.
The fire started in the rear part of the man's cluttered home and spread to another home next door, with the dogs found in the first floor and basement of the man's home, Langford said.
Several of the dogs rescued by firefighters were unconscious, suffering from smoke inhalation, when they were brought out and given oxygen by firefighters, Langford said.
"They were able to revive them," Langford said.
Nine dogs were injured in the fire and at least one died, Langford said.
Firefighters and police have been called out to the home in the past, including at least one incident involving a fire pit, and authorities have not been given access to the home. It appears that the homeowner may be a hoarder, as firefighters' efforts were hampered by debris in much of the home.
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