Neighbors overwhelemed with guilt that they couldn't save children from deadly fire

A house fire claimed the lives of two young girls and injured four others Saturday night.

Two sisters, a 7-month-old and a 2-year-old, got trapped in the basement of the home and died in the fire near 67th and Champlain on Chicago's South Side.

A stove on and being used as a heat source and that may have been the cause of the fire, but it is still under investigation.

Before firefighters arrived, neighbors took it upon themselves to try and get to the three kids trapped inside.  When firefighters arrived at 10:30 p.m., they started an aggressive attack while simultaneously searching for the kids, too.

Firefighters pulled a 6-year-old boy from the basement. He was taken in critical condition to Comer Children's Hospital with severe burns. Family members will need several surgeries.

Firefighters found the bodies of Ziya Grace, 7 months old, and her sister Jamaii, 2, in the basement.

Two women, a 25-year-old and a 48-year-old, escaped the burning building.

“I heard the woman screaming about her kids,” said neighbor Ed Adams.  “It's going over in my head as we speak.”

Adams, a retired police sergeant, said he tried to go inside the home, but couldn't because the fire was too powerful.

“It’s frustrating, you try to do your best your instincts kick and certain things prevent you from doing it, this was one of those situations,” said Adams.

On Sunday afternoon, the house on Champlain sat empty with plywood blocking its windows and doors.  Neighbors have started a small memorial in front, upset they couldn't do more.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries in the fire and was taken to hospital and is expected to be okay.

There were no smoke alarms in the basement.

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