Pilsen apartment fire kills 3-year-old boy His sister, father also injured in blaze By Jeremy Gorner, Tribune reporter 10:05 PM CDT, November 6, 2010 A 3-year-old boy was killed Saturday in a Pilsen apartment building fire that also severely injured the boy's 1-year-old sister as well as his father, Chicago Fire Department officials said. The fire broke out at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in a four-story building on the 1700 block of West Cullerton Street. Its billowing smoke visible a mile away, the fire tore through the building's upper floors and spread to a coach house in the rear before firefighters brought it under control about an hour later. While battling the flames, firefighters found Michael Cruz, 3, in the back bedroom of the second floor, said Fire Department District Chief Thomas Kennedy. The boy was pronounced dead at St. Anthony Hospital a short time later, the Cook County medical examiner's office said. The boy's father also named Michael Cruz and a 1-year-old sister suffered from smoke inhalation and were hospitalized in serious-to-critical condition, Kennedy said. Fire investigators think the blaze started in the rear of the apartment building, but Kennedy could not say what caused it. Working smoke detectors were found in the hallway area of the building, Kennedy said. He said he didn't know whether there were smoke detectors in the individual units, though an investigation is under way. The building was occupied by several families, all of them related, with one person living in the basement and another male relative inside the rear coach house. In all, 12 children lived on the property, family members said. On Saturday, relatives mourned the 3-year-old's death. But, with the apartment building destroyed, they also wondered where they would live. American Red Cross officials said the family would be put up in temporary shelter, and food and clothing would also be provided. Jose Lopez, the 3-year-old's uncle, said he was at the mall when someone called to tell him about the fire. "I wish I was (home), then I would've been able to help them," said Lopez, 30. Two firefighters also suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blaze, said Richard Rosado, a Fire Department spokesman. Fire kills 3-year-old boy in Pilsen, injures four more - chicagotribune.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- It is amasing what is discovered when a fire happens. Let's see. 12 children times $12,500 per student in most Chicagoland schools equals $150,000 a year to babysit these kids. Do you really believe that the property taxes on that house pay for their education? Who is paying the bill?