The Chicago Fire Department said the incident occurred around 4 a.m. at the New Englewood Terrace apartments in the 6400-block of South Lowe Avenue. Chicago police said the child fell through a screen and struck the patio below.
The child was transported to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, CFD said.
It is not clear if anyone was with the toddler at the time.
Area One detectives are investigating the incident, which police said is currently classified as an accidental injury.
“I’m so shocked and surprised,” said Lizzy Junaid, a building resident.
Residents at that apartment building said they’ve had safety concerns for years, many of them without AC or using damaged AC units, meaning a lot of open windows with this week’s heat.
“I think now is the time for prevention,” said fellow building resident Tish Johns.
Residents were heartbroken by the news with a history of safety concerns at that building already on their mind.
“It’s not a safe environment,” a building resident said. “Not for me. I don’t have children but like for the little kids.”
Residents said the building hasn’t been managed well, with many windows damaged and some units without air conditioning. That has left many with open windows this week as the heat scorches Chicago.
“The screens aren’t sturdy at all,” a building resident said. “It can be a nice breeze flowing through, the breeze will go right through the window screen. It very much is easy for a child to fall out,” a building resident said.
“I think AC units should automatically be installed in your apartment,” building resident Malachi Boyd said. “They want their money every month, but they aren’t doing what they gotta do.”
Building management wasn’t available to address these issues and didn’t return ABC7’s request for comment, but residents are hoping safety changes are on the way.
The Chicago Department of Buildings was also not available for an on-camera interview and did not provide a list of any potential building violations, but offered safety tips online for parents keeping windows open during the summer heat.
Window Safety Tips
“There’s a lot of thinks we as mothers can do to prevent these things from happening,” Johns said.
As residents try to stay cool on these scorching summer days, they say more must be done by building management.
“I can literally push it out with my hand, like I can feel my hand outside so the screen is not secured enough,” Junaid said.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened and I feel sorry for the family ,but at the end of the day I blame them. I blame them in there,” said Boyd.
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