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Exclusive: Teen Siblings Who Survived East Village Fire Recount Horror Of That Day, Pray For Hospitalized Mother

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The two teens who escaped an East Village fire are both out of the hospital. They're staying with their older brother and his family.

They told their story together for the first time, exclusively, to CBS2's Leah Mishkin on Wednesday.

On Dec. 16, Giovanny and his sister, Mariana, woke up to the sound of an explosion. A wall in their bedroom had collapsed on top of them.

"At first, I thought the building collapsed," Giovanny said.

"Gio, he thought he was going to die and he thought his last words were going to be, 'Mari, I love you,'" Mariana said.

READ MORE'We're Going To Die, I Love You'; 13-Year-Old Describes Daring Escape From East Village Fire In Exclusive Interview

Mariana, 19, who didn't want to be on camera during a Zoom interview with CBS2, said she helped her brother who was stuck underneath the wall.

"I felt like I could move again. And she pushed my head, I saw the opening and we just crawled out," Giovanny said.

"We were at the window and I didn't know what to do. Next thing you know, I was getting electrocuted so bad and I was feeling so much smoke on my back, it was hurting. So I just decided to get out my window," Mariana said.

READ MORETeenagers Recovering After Escaping East Village Apartment Fire, Mother Still In Critical Condition

Before the 13-year-old followed his sister outside the window and down a pole to safety, he heard his mother calling their names.

"I said. 'Just go back, just leave, just don't worry about us. We got it. We're OK,' and then I just didn't hear her after that," Giovanny said.

"I was just helping him to make sure he didn't fall or anything, so I was grabbing on to his hand," Mariana added.

The family said their mother tried to get out the front door, but it was jammed. She's still in the hospital in an induced coma. Her boyfriend, who was also inside the apartment at the Jacob Riis Houses, died in the fire.

"It's really tough. I feel so bad he had to go away like that. She's still in critical and she needs a lot of support and a lot of prayers," Mariana said.

The FDNY said the fire was caused by lithium ion batteries from one of seven e-bikes the mother's boyfriend was repairing in the apartment.

Both Giovanny and Mariana had severe burns on their arms. They were in the hospital for several weeks.

"I came out on New Year's Eve, but I still went back and I was still sleeping on the couch until he got out," Mariana said.

READ MORECaught On Video: Teens Escape Deadly East Village Fire That Killed 1

They're not just siblings; they're best friends.

"I feel like he's my little son. I was more worried about my little brother than I was worried about my own self," Mariana said.

Giovanny is looking forward to playing in a school basketball game soon. He was supposed to have his first game the day of the fire. He said he prays his mother gets better and can watch him on the court.

The family plans to have a prayer vigil in February to honor their mother's boyfriend who died and to pray for their mother.

CBS2's Leah Mishkin contributed to this report.

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