The fire was reported at 3:47 a.m. in the 4100 block of West Gladys Avenue in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, according to Chicago Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez said. Firefighters arrived three minutes later and found flames in the basement and on the first floor, Hernandez said.
The man was pronounced dead there at 4:36 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
Police called to the scene found a 51-year-old man who had escaped through a back door. He told officers he had seen the back door to the basement apartment open and flames on a couch, police said.
A firefighter suffered a knee injury battling the blaze, police said. He was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in good condition, Hernandez said.
There was no indication the fire was suspicious, but Area Central detectives were conducting a death investigation and police Bomb and Arson investigators were checking the fire because of the death.
The small brick home where the fire broke out did not have working smoking detectors, according to fire officials.
Around the same time, another fire broke out in the 2700 block of North Kenmore Avenue.
Firefighters freed a man who was briefly trapped in the building. Paramedics took the man in good-to-fair condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.