CHICAGO -- The father of two young boys killed in a weekend fire says his family would be alive if his rental home had working smoke detectors.
The fire started in a home in 1000 block of N. Avers around 2 a.m. Saturday.
"We were sleeping in our bed and we woke up with heavy smoke, black smoke. And when we looked towards our door, the flames were coming up. They were already coming to our wall. Then, when it came to our wall, it grabbed our dresser. When it come to our dresser, then it grabbed our bed, like the whole bed,” Jovani Albino told WGN.
Three-year-old Yadel Albino and 8-year-old Yohel Compos died in the fire
Jovani says he grabbed his wife, Maritza, and the two ran out of their bedroom, through flames and out the back door.
He grabbed a ladder, broke a window to his bedroom and climbed back through to pull his family out.
First, he grabbed his 18-month-old son, Yovani.
“His whole crib was on fire. That’s how his legs got on fire, and his arms got on fire,” Albino said
A neighbor down below, caught the toddler.
Albino then turned his attention to his other two sons.
“The 8-year-old was unresponsive so they caught him, but i couldn’t find my 3-year-old.”
Firefighters would later arrive and make the heartbreaking discovery; They found 3 year-old Yadel, in a corner of that room.
“He probably got scared and just ran to a wall and balled up,” his father said.
Yadel was not burned, but his father tells WGN he died of smoke inhalation in the house.
The family moved into the house a few months ago.
"Not even 2 months ... and I was telling the owner, 'put smoke detectors,'" Albino said. "He would always tell me, 'Sunday, Sunday'. He never did.”
Yovani and his mother are still at Stroger Hospital, in critical condition
Firefighters maintain it was an accidental fire caused by the careless use of smoking materials.
A GoFundMe page was launched to raise money for the victims and their relatives.