Fire officials say the cause of the fire appears to be accidental. Meanwhile, the injured child remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Herman Godfrey says the smoke and flames from the fire were just too much as he tried to save his 3-year-old neighbor Jaantwiaon Edwards.
"I couldn't get the little boy, that's all," he said.
Jaantwiaon died after an extra-alarm fire swept through the brick home where he lived and the house next door injuring 3 others including another child.
It happened Friday night in Chicago's South Austin neighborhood in the 100 block of North Laramie Avenue.
Godfrey says he was on his way home to the building he lived in with his sister and godmother when he heard screams for help.
"I was walking up the street, and I seen them running out, running back in," he said. "I tried to go back in and get him, but there was too much smoke and then the fire was coming so I had to come back out of there."
Godfrey's godmother remains hospitalized at west suburban hospital.
Another child rescued from the fire also remains in critical condition as officials continue to investigate the blaze, which is believed to have begun on the rear porch of one building and spread to the other.
"The fire is still under investigation, but it appears the majority of the main body of the fire was on the rear porches of both buildings," said Don Hroma, Chicago Fire Department.
The fire gutted both residences leaving nearly two dozen people homeless including Godfrey.
"I guess I'll go to my mother's house, I can't go nowhere else, just the clothes on my back that I got now," he said.
A female police officer was also injured trying to get those who were trapped by the flames out of the burning building. That officer was taken to an area hospital, suffering from smoke inhalation.