(ABC) Eight children killed in a fire early Sunday in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side have been identified.
According to family members, the children ranged in age from 3 months to 16 years. The victims have been identified as Maya Almaraz, three months old; Lonni Ayala, 3; Ariel Garcia, 5; Gialonni Ayala, 5; Giovanni Ayala, 10; Xavier Contreras, 11; Nathan Contreras, 13; and Victor Mendoza, 16.
Fire officials say this is perhaps the worst fire tragedy in many decades in the city.
The fire started in a coach house behind a three-story apartment building about 4 a.m. in the 2200 block of South Sacramento Avenue, according to Chicago Fire Media Affairs and Chicago police. All of the victims were on the second floor of the coach house.
The family says there was a sleepover going on Saturday night and that the deceased are from at least two families.
A neighbor came home from work just before 4 a.m., saw smoke and called 911.
“The person who came and made the initial call also started knocking on doors and telling people there was a fire, so they basically started to self-evacuate as the fire companies got on the scene. So the female who did that saved a lot of lives,” said Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago.
Fire officials say many of the victims were already dead when they arrived.
Two other teenagers were taken to Stroger Hospital in very critical condition.
A firefighter was also injured and taken to the hospital in good condition.
The fire was put out by 5:10 a.m., according to the department.
According to the Building Department website in Chicago, the building failed its last inspection in June due to electrical issues.
Fire officials are investigating.
Maggio News would like to extend the deepest of condolences to the family….
Article Org: abc7chicago.com