Two young boys killed in Lansing fire

January 5, 2010 7:56:19 PM PST
A south suburban family is devastated following a fatal fire in their Lansing home.Two brothers died when smoke filled the house Monday afternoon.

Five-year-old Jeremiah Towers and his two-year-old brother Joshua were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Their mother is in Iraq serving her country. ABC7 has learned she is en route home. She's not expected to arrive until Wednesday.

In the meantime, at the family's home Tuesday their pain was palpable.

The Towers' home in Lansing shows few signs of what occurred on Monday. One might expect the Towers' young sons to come bounding out to play in the snow, but Monday as they laid down for a nap a fire started in their bedroom.

Five-year-old Jeremiah and two-year-old Joshua could not be saved, despite efforts of their father and medical staff at a nearby Indiana hospital.

"He was so crazy about them boys. I think this will hurt me, how crazy he was about those boys, always saying my boys," said Clint Towers, grandfather.

Towers says the family rallied around the boys as their mother left for a tour in Iraq as an army reservist before the holidays.

"They're the greatest angels anyone could have. We were with them Christmas day celebrating with them. This is just devastating what happened here," said Towers.

On Monday, friend and relatives arrived to support the boys' father who was too distraught to talk.

Several sources tell ABC7 the boys' father was doing some work in the garage while the boys napped. A neighbor tried to alert him about smoke, but in the garage the father could not hear the knocking. The father was attempting CPR on one of the boys when fire fighters arrived.

"Nobody ever expects this will happen to them. It's just a horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family," said Chief Dan Gregorovic, Lansing Fire Department.

The Lansing fire chief says a smoke detector outside of the boys' bedroom was not functioning, but he says there is more to determine.

"We don't want to speculate...we're still working to find out the actual cause of the fire," said Gregorovic.

In the meantime, funeral arrangements are on hold until the boy's mother can be returned home from Iraq and boys' grandfather leans on his faith.

"We're just holding on, putting our trust in the Lord to see us through this. We need everybody's prayers," said Towers.

Fire investigators have isolated an area in the boys' bedroom where the fire began, but they are reluctant to discuss details of their investigation. They hope to have more information later this week.