8 People Killed After Fire Breaks Out Near Little Village

“We have not had this in many, many, many years, this amount of fatalities and injuries in one location, so this is very unusual” said Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story reported that 10 people, including eight children and two adults, were killed in the fire.  

Eight people, at least six of whom were children, are dead after an early Sunday morning fire broke out in a three-story residential building near Little Village—one of the biggest tragedies the Chicago Fire Department has seen in years, officials say.   

Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago speaks at a presser following a fire that killed eight people in Marshall Square, near the Little Village neighborhood.

The following victims killed were identified by family members:

  • Amayah Almaraz, 3 mos.
  • Ariel Garcia, 5
  • Alanni Ayala, 3
  • Gialanni Ayala, 5
  • Xavier Contreras, 11
  • Nathan Contreras, 13
  • Giovanni Ayala 10
  • Victor Mendoza, 16

Fire department officials confirmed there were eight fatalities, but were unable to confirm the ages of the victims pending further investigation. 

Two other victims remain on life support at Stroger Hospital, according to the family and fire officials. 

Officials said they received a call that a fire broke out at 2224 S. Sacramento Ave. around 4 a.m. Fire officials concluded after an initial investigation that the fire started on the rear porch of the residence and was confined to the rear portion of the building. 

Fire Commissioner Jose A. Santiago said the call came from a woman who said she came home from work and smelled the fire.

Police say the victims were immediately found in the second floor (the first floor was vacant) of the structure, which was described as a "coach house." By the time fire crews got inside the building, seven people were already dead, officials say. 

“We have not had this in many, many, many years, this amount of fatalities and injuries in one location," expressed Santiago. "This is very unusual.” 

A firefighter lieutenant, Santiago said, was also injured in the fire and transported to Rush hospital where he remains in good, stable condition.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. Officials also say it was unknown whether there were smoke detectors in the residence. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the local alderman have both been alerted, Santiago said.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the families of the victims. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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