Posts Tagged deadliest fire in Chicago in over a decade

Fatal 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 8-26-18 (more)

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The death toll from a Sunday morning fire in the city’s Little Village neighborhood rose to ten Tuesday afternoon after a teen died at Stroger Hospital. The tenth victim was identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as Adrian Hernandez, 14. Hernandez died at 11:12 a.m.

The ninth victim, who died Monday night, was 14-year-old Cesar Contreras.

Authorities have identified the other eight victims as 5-year-old Ariel Garcia, 11-year-old Xavier Contreras, 13-year-old Nathan Contreras, 16-year-old Victor Mendoza, 3-month-old Amayah Almaraz, 3-year-old Alanni Ayala, 10-year-old Giovanni Ayala and 5-year-old Gialanni Ayala.

The blaze broke out in a coach house in the 2200-block of South Sacramento Avenue. A neighbor came home around 4 a.m., saw the smoke and called 911.

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Fatal 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 8-26-18 (more)

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Officials said a ninth child has died after a fire in Little Village on Sunday, as investigators try to determine a cause for the fire that happened around 4 a.m. Sunday during a sleepover in a second-floor unit of a coach house in the 2200 block of South Sacramento Avenue, where older siblings were watching over the younger ones.

The children killed ranged in ages from 3 months to 16 years old. Three of the victims have been identified as Ariel Garcia, 5, Xavier Contreras, 11, and Nathan Contreras, 13. Cesar Contreras, 14, was identified as the ninth victim.

Chicago’s Bomb and Arson Squad, the Office of Fire Investigations and the ATF are looking into the cause and have ruled out electrical and will most likely rule out arson. Officials are looking at fireworks remains that were on the back porch and smoking material including cigarettes. The building failed four of seven inspections in the last three years.

On Monday, firefighters handed out smoke detectors for free to everyone on the block where the tragedy happened.

“When we lose one life, its too many lives,” said Chicago Fire Department Deputy Chief Annette Nance Holt. “So today, it’s even more critical because we lost eight people to a fire and that’s unheard of in the city of Chicago. We haven’t lost this many people, I can’t even count back to when we lost this many lives, and these are young people.”

A memorial for the children with crosses, stuffed animals and balloons is growing  near the scene of the tragedy. A GoFundMe has been set-up to help the family cover burial costs.

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Fatal 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 8-26-18

Excerpts from the

Eight people were killed in Little Village on Sunday morning — including at least six children — in what officials said was the deadliest city fire in a decade. A teenager and a young adult also were rushed to hospitals in very critical condition, and a firefighter was hospitalized in good condition.

The fire struck a home where a group of siblings and cousins were attending a sleepover. 

Late Sunday, authorities had not released the names and ages of the victims. Krystle Sauseda, 31, who said she was an aunt of many of the victims, said they included four siblings from one family, three siblings from another family and an unrelated teen who was a close friend to the group.

Firefighters were called just before 4 a.m. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said investigators had not found working smoke detectors. Fire officials were still working to determine the cause of the fire, aided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They determined the blaze started in an enclosed porch at the back of the rear building.

The fire was the deadliest in Chicago in more than a decade, but it could have been avoided if smoke detectors had been in use.

“It was not hard to get out. The fire started in the rear, and the entryway to the front was wide open,” Langford said. “Had they been awake or if someone had woken them, they would have gotten out.”

Community groups and churches are trying to raise at least $120,000 as the close-knit Little Village neighborhood responds to a horrific fire over the weekend that killed six children and two adults. The victims have not been officially identified, but relatives said the children ranged in age from 3 months to 16 years old. Two boys, both 14, remain in critical condition at Stroger Hospital.

At least two GoFundMe campaigns have been launched to help affected families. One, by the community group La Villita Chi, had raised $5,637 of its goal of $20,000 as of Monday morning. On its GoFundMe site, the group said donations could also be dropped off at the Amor De Dios Church at 2356 S. Sawyer Ave., not far from the fire.

Another group, Enlace Chicago, had raised $2,635 of its goal of $100,000. The group, which sponsors educational, health and anti-violence programs, is also collecting donations at 2329 S. Troy St. and 2756 S. Harding Ave.

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