2 young boys killed, family members critically injured in Humboldt Park fire

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A Humboldt Park fire left two young brothers dead and their parents and a sibling in critical condition. | Family photo

A devastating fire at a Humboldt Park home left two brothers — ages 3 and 8 — dead, and their family members critically injured early Saturday on the West Side.

About 1:50 a.m., emergency crews arrived at the engulfed home in the 1000 block of North Avers, according to Chicago police and fire officials.

The 3-year-old boy was taken to Norwegian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and the 8-year-old died at Stroger Hospital, officials said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the younger boy as Yadel Albino and the older boy as Yohel Campos. An online fundraiser organized by family members identified them as brothers.

Additionally, their 18-month-old brother, 25-year-old father, 23-year-old mother and an adult uncle all were taken to hospitals in critical condition with smoke inhalation and burns, according to relatives and officials.

Susan Thomas, who has lived across the street from the home for 20 years and knew the family, said she was preparing to go to bed when she looked out her window and “saw flames jumping out.”

The aftermath of a fatal fire in the 1000 block of North Avers on May 5, 2018. | Rachel Hinton/Sun-Times

The aftermath of a fatal fire in the 1000 block of North Avers on May 5, 2018. | Rachel Hinton/Sun-Times

Not long before the fire started, her son Simon Thomas talked to the 25-year-old man who lived in the house.

“Everything seemed normal last night,” Simon Thomas said. “He came down to get something and we started talking about movies. We were talking about 15 minutes before the fire started. He wanted to borrow the movie ‘Rampage’ and I said I’d bring it to him this morning.”

Soon after after Simon and the man returned to their homes, the first calls reporting the fire started to come in.

Chicago Fire Dept. officials said the fire might have been sparked by a cigarette or cigar, and that there were no functional smoke detectors in the home, according to their preliminary investigation. No foul play was suspected.

Several tearful relatives arrived late Saturday morning at the home, where patches of the roof had been burned through. A charred hole took the place of the large window on the second floor, not far from white Christmas lights that still dangled from the roof.

A window on the first floor was broken, its screen knocked out of place.

Before handing out smoke detectors to neighbors, Battalion Chief Kenneth Wojtecki said the fire department had yet to find a smoke detector in the home. He noted that not having the device is the No. 1 cause of fire fatalities.

Contributing: Tyler LaRiviere and Tom Schuba

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The children who died were 4, 6 and 11. The child’s mother was badly burned and inhaled smoke, likely while trying to find her children in their bedrooms, fire officials say