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2 children dead, 4 injured in South Side fire

Balloons were left outside a home in the 6600 block of South Champlain on Sunday after two young girls died and four other people were injured in a fire. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

A 7-month-old girl and a 2-year-old girl were found dead and four other people were injured, including another child and a firefighter, in a house fire Saturday night in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood.

Firefighters responded about 10:30 p.m. to a fire in the two-story house with reports of people trapped inside in the 6600 block of South Champlain, said Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Frank Velez.

The 7-month-old girl, Ziya Grace, and 2-year-old Jamaii Grace were found dead in the basement of the building, fire officials and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. They lived in the same neighborhood.

Autopsies Sunday found both girls died of carbon monoxide intoxication and inhalation of smoke and soot, and their deaths were ruled accidents.

Firefighters pulled a 6-year-old boy from the basement and he was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, Deputy District Chief Michael Carbone told reporters at the scene. Two women, ages 25 and 48, were able to escape the basement on their own and were taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where their conditions stabilized.

Firefighters responded to a blaze in a two-story house Saturday night in the 6600 block of South Champlain. | Network Video Productions
Firefighters responded to a blaze in a two-story house Saturday night in the 6600 block of South Champlain. | Network Video Productions

Carbone said the fire was “fast-spreading,” prompting firefighters to make an “aggressive attack.”

A firefighter suffered minor injuries in the blaze and was also taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, fire officials said.

There were no smoke alarms in the basement, where the fire began, fire officials said.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, but the Chicago Police Department’s Arson Unit is investigating, police said.