CHICAGO (CBS) — The death toll in the fire that killed eight children grew larger Monday, as one teen on life support was pronounced dead at a hospital, bringing the total fatalities to nine. Families of the fire victims spent most of the day remembering their loved ones lost in a house fire in Little Village early Sunday morning.
The fire happened in the 2200 block of South Sacramento in Little Village. Relatives said the children who died were having a sleepover. They ranged in age from 3 months to 16 years, according to their families.
There was a moment of panic as someone yelled there was devastating news at Stroger Hospital, referring to at least one of the two teens that were on life support.
14-year-old Caesar Contreras battled on life support until late Monday. The medical examiner says he is one of now nine children killed in a horrific weekend house fire in Little Village.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports one teen is still on life support at Stroger Hospital, but the family fears that he could soon be the tenth victim.
The memorial continued to grow Monday as mourners streamed through to say goodbye.
“That’s unheard of in the city of Chicago. We haven’t lost this many people in – I can’t even count back to when we lost this many lives – and these are young people,” said Chicago Fire Deputy District Chief Annette Nance Holt.
One teen is still in critical condition, but the family of the teen says he is braindead and the outcome is likely grim.
“He’s on life support,” said Sheila Reyes, an aunt of the victim.
There were no smoke detectors found in the home. There are reports that the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) are now probing the lack of supervision in the home.
“Imagine if you would’ve had smoke detectors in the building. Maybe those young people would be alive today. I’m guessing they would have,” said the Fire Deputy Chief.
Inspection reports reveal the city was inside the home in June investigating electrical concerns, but that has been ruled out as a cause. The family says the back porch, where the fire started, was commonly used for fireworks and smoking.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up for the family to help give the nine children a proper burial: https://www.gofundme.com/support-families-mourning