CHICAGO (CBS) — A 60-year-old man is in the hospital after throwing his 7-year-old grandson to safety from a burning building in Chicago’s East Side neighborhood.
The man, Apolonio Castellano, was with the child on the second floor of a home that caught fire Sunday afternoon in the 10000 block of South Avenue L, according to Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Jeffrey Horan.
The man was able to toss his grandson from the second floor to two Chicago Police Department officers, who caught the child. The boy was taken in critical condition to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was stabilized.
Upon fire department arrival, the grandfather was located and rescued. He was taken to The University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition.
Chicago police initially said the man had died, but his daughter, Corita Castellano, said he was still in the hospital being treated for his injuries.
“The next 48 hours for him is critical,” Castellano said. “If it wasn’t for him my son would not be alive.”
A firefighter was also treated for exhaustion and taken to the hospital in good condition.
CFD officials also said a family pet died in the fire, while another pet was rescued during a search of the building.
Firefighters did not find any working smoke detectors in the home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.