Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed his sympathy and condolences to local families after eight people were killed in an apartment fire early Sunday morning.
The blaze occurred in the city's Little Village neighborhood, and claimed the lives of eight individuals, all of whom were children, according to families.
"Our thoughts go out to not only the families of those who perished but to members of the department who pushed as hard as possible to reverse the deadly fate of the eight who are now gone," Emanuel said.
According to fire officials, there were no working smoke detectors in the structure when the blaze occurred.
Here is Emanuel's full statement:
"The men and women of the Chicago Fire Department did their very best to save the victims of this morning's deadly fire. Anytime a person is lost in a fire these members feel the pain. And we grieve with the families.
"Members of CFD engine 109 Tower Ladder 5 Engine 23 squad 1 Truck 32 and Battalion 14 were among the first to arrive and make rescues of those inside. They were backed up by a major EMS response by Field chief 4-5-7 who directed 15 ambulance crews to do their best to save those who were brought out. This included first arriving ambulances 64 80 45 65 and 66.
"The city shares the grief of the families who have lost so many on this day. We now know the fire began in the rear and the exit to the front was clear but without working smoke detectors the occupants were not awakened in time to get to safety.
"Our thoughts go out to not only the families of those who perished but to members of the department who pushed as hard as possible to reverse the deadly fate of the eight who are now gone. We all pray the two living victims will make a recovery despite the odds."
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.