CHICAGO (CBS) — An 11-year-old Cicero boy is in serious condition but will recover from smoke inhaled during a fire early Tuesday in the family’s home, thanks to quick work by four Cicero Police officers who beat firefighters to the scene.

The child’s mother told arriving officers she tried to find her son, but that smoke and flames drove her out of the home in the 5100 block of West 29th Street. When Officer Jesus Jimenez kicked in the door he, too, was driven back. Officer Andrew Marquez said he and Officer Julio Esparza hit the floor and crawled toward moans in smoke so dense they could see anything.

“Officer Esparza kept calling them out – ‘tell us where you are at, tell us where you are at.’ All we could here was a slight moaning, a slight cry so we just kept working our way over to the sound,” Marquez said.

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Later, they determined that they had found him near a living room couch. Once the officers pulled the boy out, Esparza and Officer Karina Sumner performed CPR outside. The boy vomited, but Sumner said they saw that as a good sign and said the boy was soon breathing on his own.

He remains in the burn unit of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Cicero Fire Chief Dominic Buscemi said another minute would have been too late. The home lacked smoke detectors, which the Cicero Fire Department gives away free to residents.

The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen, although Buscemi said the cause has not been pinpointed. No foul play is suspected.