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'This Is Going To Be Tough On Us': 2-Year-Old Boy Dies In Fire On Far South Side

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A two-year-old boy died in a house fire on Tuesday morning on the Far South Side.

The fire broke out in a home near 122nd and Lafayette around 11:30 a.m.. While some people escaped a child was trapped on the second floor and died.

A two-year-old boy was taken to Roseland Hospital and was pronounced dead, according to Chicago Fire Department District Chief Michael Spencer.

CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reports the child's mother just bought this house and they recently moved in. The second floor window of the home is boarded up now. We're told this is where the fire started, in a bedroom and that's where the two-year-old was found.

"He was just as joyful. Anticipating Christmas. I just seen him yesterday. I seen him Sunday."

Andre Barker remembers the last time he saw his two-year-old nephew, Ace Jackson. Jackson was in this upstairs bedroom where a fire started this morning.

Barker consoles his wife. She tried to rescue him, from the burning bedroom. So did his mother. She suffered burns to her feet. The doorway, was blocked by fire. When firefighters entered the bedroom, they found the child in a corner of the room. He was in full cardiac arrest. Paramedics worked on him along with doctors in the ER.

"Very loving child. We had great expectations for him," Barker said. "This is just unbelievable." Six weeks ago, the family buried Jackson's great grandmother. She died from COVID-19.

"This is going to be tough on us. This is going to be tough, but we're a strong family."

Right now, investigators are looking at a space heater and extension cord as the possible cause of the fire. There were smoke detectors in the home but the batteries in them, had expired. The child's mother suffered burns on her feet and was being treated at Roseland.

Spencer said a total of four people were home at the time of the fire including the boy, his mother, and two other females.

The fire was confined to one room, and there were no working smoke detectors officials said.  The cause is under investigation. Spencer said the fatal fire stresses the need for people to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors.

"They save lives," he said. "It's getting old that we have to keep repeating the same message, but they do save lives. They give you that early warning, and it helps."

Spencer said the Fire Department will be providing counseling as needed to firefighters who were at the scene.

"It's emotionally draining, and it's difficult, especially when it's a child," he said.

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