CHICAGO (CBS) — An 11-year-old boy was covered in flames Tuesday in a house fire in Back of the Yards.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, a burned out mattress was left behind at the scene of the fire on Hermitage Avenue near 54th Street.
Late Tuesday, a burned-out mattress was left behind as the child recovered at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital.
A charred broken attic window is where neighbors saw thick smoke pouring from the bungalow. In the upper room, an 11-year-old’s screams grabbed the attention of his grandmother and younger siblings downstairs.
“He was alone upstairs. It is her house, and he came downstairs and apparently had some fire on him,” said next-door neighbor Jeyson Ortiz.
Burnt springs were left exposed from a mattress that was dumped out in front of the house. The investigation revealed that the boy may have been sitting on it – when for reasons unknown, the mattress caught fire and badly burned the child.
“It’s pretty scary, because at any moment the fire can start, and just so just quickly it spread,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz allowed the family to stay warm in his home.
“It is really cold out there, and I could tell they really needed to some help,” he said.
As fire investigators pulled away, the house was destroyed. But everyone’s mind was on the boy who was badly burned.
“It’s heartbreaking, because the fact that I have a baby as well,” Ortiz said.
The boy was in critical condition when he was rushed to the hospital. None of the other children in the house was injured.