WASHINGTON PARK — The Chicago Fire Department has found the body of a man who went missing during a Saturday fire that consumed two apartment buildings.
Firefighters returned to the Washington Park site of the Saturday fire when it rekindled on Monday and, in the process of putting out the fire, found the body of a man in the rubble, said Larry Langford, a Fire Department spokesman.
The cause of the Saturday morning fire in the 5800 block of South Prairie Avenue is still unknown, Langford said.
The family of Ricky Anderson told reporters Saturday that they worried he had been trapped inside.
Firefighters had been unable to fully search the buildings because they had been made too unstable by the fire, but they had planned to return at noon Monday with heavy equipment to continue the search, Langford said.
But Langford said firefighters were called back early, at 10:30 a.m., when the fire rekindled. A firefighter spotted what looked like the legs of a man as they tried to get in through the back porch of the northernmost of the two four-flat buildings.
“They had to go through a wall" to get to the victim, Langford said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has not identified the man.
Firefighters were back on the scene Tuesday morning passing out fire safety literature to neighbors and distributing free smoke detectors as the first of the buildings was being demolished.
Fire Department Cmdr. Walter Schroeder said there’s concern the apartments may not have had smoke detectors, so free ones were being passed out to all the neighbors Tuesday.