Father grieves loss of 2 sons in Humboldt Park fire

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A Chicago father speaks for the first time about his sons who died in a house fire in the city's Humboldt Park neighborhood. (WLS)

Life will never be the same for the Campos-Albino family. A 2-year-old and 7-year-old died in a fire early Saturday morning in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Two children survived - an 8-year-old and an 18-month-old - but it falls to their father to tell their mother of the loss, because she is in a medically-induced coma.

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Two children were killed in a fire in Humboldt Park Saturday morning and four others have been hospitalized.

Eyewitness News caught up to the father, Jovino Albino, at Stroger Hospital on Tuesday. Sporting burns and coughing from the effects of smoke inhalation himself, the 26-year-old was asked how he was going to approach that conversation with 25-year-old Maritsa Campos.

"It's going to be hard, come on man, we lost two of our kids man, they was my life," he said through tears.

At the hospital, Albino is surrounded by friends. We caught up to him after he learned his 18-month old just made it out of skin graft surgery. At least Campos will have that, he says.

The flames came out of nowhere early Saturday morning and invaded the family's second story apartment on North Avers, according to Albino.

"The fire hit my face and grabbed my clothes so I started patting myself down," he recounted. "I went to reach for my son and I couldn't find my son, I only found the 18-month-old."

The entire family was in one room, but Albino could only scoop up the toddler and toss him to a stranger below. Looking away, he continues: "I tossed (the child) and he grabbed him, but when I look back there was too much flames coming inside the room and I had to run out the room and go through the back door, and the back door got jammed on me so I was fighting to open the door."

By now, firefighters had arrived and the father tried to join them to save his family. There were no working smoke detectors, according the Chicago Fire Department.

"With the smoke detectors my kids would have been here, like that's no joke, no, but it happened too fast," he laments. And then he asked Chicagoans for something.

"Just pray for my family and pray for the ones that went up and just make sure if you live somewhere you've got fire detectors, you got smoke detectors," he said.

Smoke inhalation played a big role in the deaths of the two youngsters, and injuries suffered by the mother, Ms. Campos. She is on a ventilator now. Albino said she may be coming off that shortly.

Albino said he asked his landlord for working smoke detectors and was constantly put off.

Eyewitness News was unsuccessful in contacting his landlord for an answer. The city's building department said Tuesday it had no information to share on who that person or entity was, and whether they had been the subject of complaints.
Related Topics:
chicago fire departmentfatal firefirechild killedChicagoHumboldt Park
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