AUBURN GRESHAM — A man was arrested this week after officials said he lured firefighters into his Auburn Gresham home — its floor covered with gasoline — and threatened them with a knife, forcing fellow first responders to rescue them.
At 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, two Chicago firefighters — a battalion chief and lieutenant — responded to reports of a car fire in the garage of a home in the 7700 block of South Marshfield Avenue, according to a Sun-Times report.
Once they put out the fire, the man told the firefighters he smelled gas in his basement and asked them to check on it, the Sun-Times reported.
The battalion chief told the man to “go first,” Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford told the Sun-Times. Before going down the stairs, the man used a screw gun to remove a wooden board covering the basement’s entrance, according to the Sun-Times.
As the firefighters checked the basement, they saw the man “quickly” run back upstairs, Langford told the Sun-Times. They followed him up the stairs where the man was “brandishing a knife,” police said.
The firefighters smelled gasoline and saw the entrances to the home were boarded up, preventing them from getting out, according to the Sun-Times. The man “ordered” them back to the basement, but the firefighters instead struggled with the man and the battalion chief used his radio to notify crews outside, according to the Sun-Times.
Police said responding officers were able to get inside the home to free the firefighters. The firefighters were not hurt, police said.
Firefighters then broke down the door of the bathroom, where the man had locked himself inside with knives and an empty gun holster and told officials he “wanted to harm himself,” according to the Sun-Times.
The man was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in suburban Evergreen Park, according to the report.
Charges are pending and detectives are investigating, police said.
Gasoline was found on the home’s floor. Police also found a loaded gun, police and Langford told the Sun-Times.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: