2 children dead, more than 100 people displaced after Gary apartment fire

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Two children are dead after an apartment fire in Gary Sunday. (WLS)

Two children are dead and more than 100 people are out of their homes after an apartment fire in Gary Sunday.

Gary firefighters said they could not get to Kailani Gober, 2, and her half-brother, Kristopher Hardin, 4, who were trapped in a fourth floor apartment, until it was too late.

"It is always difficult because most of the guys and women on our department are parents, grandparents so loss of a life is never a good thing, especially when you are trying all you can to save a life," said Gary Fire Department Chief Mike Jones.

Those children were transported to Gary Northlake Hospital, where they were pronounced dead by the Lake County Coroner's office.

Jones said crews responded to the fire at Lakeshore Dunes Apartments at approximately 11:40 a.m. and were on the scene a few minutes later.

Witnesses said a boy, 8, was screaming for his life when crews arrived.

"He's yelling help me, help me, help me," said the boy's aunt, Nicola Simmons. "And as he's yelling help me some lady came out with a blanket and said 'just tell him to jump, just tell him to jump."

The child jumped and was caught in a blanket by neighbors. The boy was treated on scene by paramedics. His mother, Judy Spencer, said he is okay.

"I sure do appreciate everybody who helped my son, I thank y'all a lot," Spencer said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Investigators said there were working smoke detectors in the building.
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