A fast-moving fire of undetermined origin ripped through a single-family ranch home in south suburban Chicago Friday, killing five children and their mother, officials said.
"You couldn't have gotten out of there if you tried," said neighbor Kelly McNamara, who saw flames shooting from the windows when she awoke shortly after 10 a.m.The fire quickly engulfed the ranch-style frame home, according to the witness and officials.
The cause of the blaze was under investigation, Sauk Village spokesman Richard Dieterich said.
The victims were identified as Christine Ireland, 27, and her children Nicole, 5; Thomas, 4; Jimmy, 3; Robert 1; and Michael, 5 months.
Two of the children were pronounced dead on arrival at St. James Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago Heights, police said. A third child died about 15 minutes after receiving emergency treatment.
Michael, Thomas and their mother were pronounced dead at the scene, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said.
Neighbors said two surviving family members were not home at the time - one child was at school and the father of the children was at work.