Four children were injured in a house fire in suburban Elgin early Tuesday.
Two boys and two girls were inside their second-floor home at 318 Division Street when the fire broke out around midnight, officials said.
The children’s mother, Amy Bishop, told NBC 5 she and her husband were both working when the fire stated.
“My daughter called me screaming and I couldn’t understand her,” Bishop said.
It was her two sons, ages 12 and 14, who were first awoken by the blaze.
“The boys were actually sleeping in the bed that caught fire,” Bishop said.
Bishop’s two daughters, ages 16 and 19, were located in another area on the home’s second floor at the time.
When firefighters arrived, the sisters were found hanging out two different second-story windows after becoming trapped by the fast-moving flames, officials said. Crews were then able to use ladders to safely remove the girls from the burning home.
All four siblings were transported to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital to be treated for injuries including second- and third-degree burns, singed hair, and frostbite to their hands and feet. Bishop said her 19-year-old daughter suffered the most severe injuries: third-degrees burns down her back from the flames.
“They were completely black, from head to toe,” Bishop said.
First responders said it could have been worse if it wasn't for a quick-thinking neighbor, Tyrone Strother, who rescued the two boys.
Strother lives in a first-floor apartment inside the old home, one floor beneath where the fire broke out on the second floor. Strother said it was around the same time that the fire started, around midnight, when he heard screams coming from upstairs and ran to help.
“First I got the younger boy out,” Strother said. “Then I went back upstairs for the older boy because they couldn’t see and they couldn’t find their way through.”
The children will be okay, Bishop said, but they are “really shaken up.”
“We lost our dog and our bird," Bishop said. "One of our dogs did survive but it’s hard, we have nothing. Everything is gone.”
She also said she might know what could have sparked it.
“There are electric heaters along the house, all over,” she said.
Bishop said that although the family barely keeps the heaters on, she thinks one of the heaters located near the mattress got too hot.
Fire officials said they are still investigating the exact cause.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the family as they begin to rebuild. They are also getting assistance from the Red Cross.
“We’re just going to take it day by day and hope that we recover,” Bishop said. "I'm just grateful our kids are okay."