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As fire grew, granddad threw 7-year-old from 2nd floor into the arms of Chicago cops

The Chicago Fire Department said a 69-year-old grandfather tossed his 7-year-old grandson from a second floor window into the arms of police officers to save him from a burning home.
The Chicago Fire Department said a 69-year-old grandfather tossed his 7-year-old grandson from a second floor window into the arms of police officers to save him from a burning home. CBS2 news video

As fire grew and smoke thickened inside of a Chicago home, a grandfather made the choice to toss his 7-year-old grandson out the second-floor window — and into the arms of police officers, authorities told the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago cops caught the boy and ran him to an ambulance, Cmdr. Frank Velez with the fire department told the newspaper. The boy was then taken to a hospital where he could be treated for smoke inhalation, the Tribune reported. That was at about 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

Once firefighters arrived, they found the grandfather and rescued him from the burning home, CBS2 reported.

“He had a heart attack on the way there,” the boy’s mom, Corita Castellano, said, according to the station. “He died for five minutes, but they brought him back. He’s in the cardiac intensive care unit.”

Police officials originally reported that the 69-year-old grandfather had died, according to ABC7, but on Monday fire officials said he is in critical condition. He received third degree burns on over 50 percent of his body, ABC7 reported.

Corita Castellano told CBS2 in an interview that she knows her father, Apolonio Castellano, is going to be OK.

“He’s going to make it,” she told the station. “I know he is going to make it. He is too stubborn.”

Her son, Peter, is also expected to be OK, she told the station.

“If it wasn’t for him, my son wouldn’t be here,” she said, according to CBS2. “My son would not be alive.”

A firefighter who responded to the fire was hospitalized because of exhaustion, ABC7 reported, but he is expected to recover.

The family’s two birds, and their dog named Maica, died in the fire, according to the Tribune.

Nine other residents of the coach home, including a family from the first floor, were displaced as a result of the fire, the newspaper reported.

Fire officials told ABC7 that they did not find any working smoke detectors inside of the home.

The property owner, though, told the Tribune that he installed working smoke detectors last summer.

Firefighters rescued Judy Alijanovic’s cat, Tirra, from her house on northeast Hill Street in Kansas City, North. EMTs administered oxygen before Tirra was whisked off to the veterinarian.

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