Man dies 6 days after throwing 7-year-old boy from burning home in East Side

A man died nearly a week after he threw a boy to safety from the window of a burning building in the East Side neighborhood on the Far South Side.

About 3:45 p.m. Sept. 9, firefighters responded to a still and box fire at an apartment in the 10000 block of South Avenue L, according to the Chicago Fire Department and Chicago police.

Apolonio Castellano, 69, and a 7-year-old boy were trapped on the second floor, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Castellano took out a window and tossed the boy to police officers below. Two officers caught him.

The boy was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital where his condition was stabilized, authorities said.

Authorities initially reported that Castellano, had died later that day after being taken to a hospital, but upgraded his condition to “very critical” the next day based on information provided by a family member.

Castellano, who lived in the block where the fire occurred, died at 12:15 a.m. Saturday at University of Chicago Medical Center, the medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy Tuesday found he died of smoke inhalation and burns from the fire. His death was ruled an accident.