South Side fire leaves two children dead

Two children, including an infant, died of smoke inhalation  today after an early morning basement fire crept through a South Side house, fire department officials said.

The children, a 3-year-old boy and his 10-month-old brother, were transported to Holy Cross Hospital suffering from cardiac arrest brought on by smoke inhalation, according to fire department spokeswoman Eve Rodriguez. The boys were pronounced dead at around 5:30 a.m., Rodriguez said.

Eight other occupants of the house, including the children's mother, managed to escape the 5 a.m. blaze at 3217 W. 66th Street.

Two adults were injured. One was treated at the scene for minor burns. A second adult was admitted to a local hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. Her condition was not immediately available.

The cause of the fire, which began in the basement and worked its way up to the first floor of the 1 1/2 story house, has not yet been determined, Rodriguez said.

Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that a woman injured in the fire was admitted to a local hospital. An earlier version said that she had been released.