Children scream 'we're burning' as Chicago fire kills 6 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/4/06

Children scream 'we're burning' as Chicago fire kills 6

Emergency workers rush a fire victim to an ambulance in Chicago Sunday Emergency workers rush a fire victim to an ambulance in Chicago Sunday
Medics tend to victims of a pre-dawn fire in Chicago Sunday Medics tend to victims of a pre-dawn fire in Chicago Sunday
One child was rescued by a ladder, officials said One child was rescued by a ladder, officials said
Children screamed "we're burning" early Sunday as an apartment fire, likely caused by a candle used for light because there was no electricity, killed six children ages 3 to 14, authorities said.

The victims' mother and three siblings were injured.

The third-floor, three-bedroom apartment on the city's North Side also had no smoke detector, said visibly shaken Fire Commissioner Raymond Orozco.

"This is the largest multiple fire fatality we've had from a single fire in quite a few years. I mean it's children. It's difficult for everyone involved," Orozco said. 

Commonwealth Edison spokesman John Dewey said the apartment hadn't had electricity since May, but he wouldn't say why it was turned off, citing confidentiality reasons.

Firefighters found most of the children huddled in the apartment's front room, not far from the spot where the fire probably started, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

"It appears that candles were used in the apartment and right now our preliminary cause is that the candles were the cause of origin," Orozco said.

The fire started just after midnight, Langford said.

"Then the mother came running out with one child in her arms, screaming to the neighbors that there were other children inside," said Cmdr. Will Knight. "They asked her how many and she said `eight.' "

Derrell Dixon said two children appeared at a window and he and several other neighbors held up a blanket, trying to get the youngsters to jump to safety.

"The kids were screaming and screaming 'Help! Help! We're burning, we're burning,' " said Dixon, 22, who said he saw firefighters rescue one of the children with a ladder.

Al Tillman, 32, was visiting a friend in the area when he heard the children yelling for help. He ran up to the third floor and crawled into the smoke-filled apartment, where he managed to grab a child's arm. He dragged the boy outside and handed him to paramedics.

"I'm shaken up because the other children didn't make it," Tillman said. "I only heard one child. I wish I could have saved the others."

The dead were identified by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Vanessa Ramirez, 14; Eric Ramirez, 12; Suzette Ramirez, 10; Idaly Ramirez, 6; Kevin Ramirez, 3; and Escarlet Ramos, 3.

A friend of one of the Ramirez children said their mother originally was from Mexico, but the family had been in the United States for at least 16 years.

"The community is in shock," Jasmin Lamb, 16, said tearily as she placed pink and white carnations on the sidewalk near the apartment. "They were a nice, warm family. My friend never got into any trouble."

The mother and one of the surviving children were in stable condition at Thorek Memorial Hospital, said R. Fordley, a nursing supervisor. Two other children were at other hospitals and their conditions were not immediately released.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • NewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Suspect killed in Angelina County standoff with law enforcement

    Suspect killed in Angelina County standoff with law enforcement

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 9:58 AM EDT2017-04-25 13:58:50 GMT

    An hours-long standoff with law enforcement in Angelina County ended early Tuesday when the suspect was killed, according to sheriff's deputies.

    More >>

    An hours-long standoff with law enforcement in Angelina County ended early Tuesday when the suspect was killed, according to sheriff's deputies.

    More >>
  • Report: Peterson in talks with Saints

    Report: Peterson in talks with Saints

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 12:30 AM EDT2017-04-25 04:30:14 GMT
    Adrian Peterson is talking with the Saints.Adrian Peterson is talking with the Saints.

    East Texan Adrian Peterson is close to signing a new contract, but no deal is done. According to ESPN, the free agent running back is negotiating with the New Orleans Saints.

    More >>

    East Texan Adrian Peterson is close to signing a new contract, but no deal is done. According to ESPN, the free agent running back is negotiating with the New Orleans Saints.

    More >>
  • Former Aggies and Cowboys quarterback delivers message to FCA all-stars

    Former Aggies and Cowboys quarterback delivers message to FCA all-stars

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-04-25 04:24:21 GMT
    Stephen McGee was the featured speaker at the FCA tailgate.Stephen McGee was the featured speaker at the FCA tailgate.

    Numerous East Texas athletes and coaches enjoyed a night of fellowship at All Saints High School for the annual FCA Heart of a Champion tailgate. The softball, baseball, and football all-stars along with cheerleaders will take the field one last time in June for their respective games. Monday night though, the players were introduced and had the opportunity to hear from guest speak Stephen McGee.

    More >>

    Numerous East Texas athletes and coaches enjoyed a night of fellowship at All Saints High School for the annual FCA Heart of a Champion tailgate. The softball, baseball, and football all-stars along with cheerleaders will take the field one last time in June for their respective games. Monday night though, the players were introduced and had the opportunity to hear from guest speak Stephen McGee.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly