Officials: Kids were home alone before fire which left 6-year-old boy dead on Far South Side

CHICAGO — Authorities say five siblings were home alone as fire broke out in their Far South Side home last night, leaving a 6-year-old boy dead. 

Neighbors say they have heavy hearts, but urge others not to be so quick to judge a single mom who’s now left to bury her baby.

“We all had moms who had to go to work or step out to the store and most of the family would take care of the siblings,” neighbor Mike Airhart said.

Authorities said the mother had run out to do a quick errand and returned home as firefighters were responding to the blaze. Four of the siblings, ages 13, 5, 4 and 1 were able to make it out.

“It was hard for them to get to the baby, ‘cuz the door was locked,” neighbor Christopher Connors said.

Airhart grew up in the Altgeld Garden Homes and said he remembered an instance where there was a fire sparked by a faulty fan that he and his mom lived through by jumping from the 2nd floor.

Neighbors say now is the time to help the family. Along with the Andrew Holmes Foundation, they’re working to help the kids and their mom food and a new place to stay.

As the origin of the fire continues to be investigated, neighbors offered a prayer for the survivors and the little one gone too soon.

Several agencies are involved in responding to the incident, including police, fire and DCFS who said they have had previous contact with the family. 

Chicago News