MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis man recovering in a hospital after a fire in his rental home wept as he recounted how the blaze claimed the lives of five of his seven children.
Troy Lewis, 60, said from his hospital bed that the deepest pain came from having to make a decision no parent should have to make: choosing which children to save.
‘‘I wanted to get all of my babies,’’ Lewis told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Minneapolis Fire Department said Sunday that it was still investigating the cause of Friday’s blaze.
Five children ages 8 years to 19 months were killed. The two others who survived remained in critical condition Sunday, said Christine Hill, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Medical Center.
Lewis jumped from a second-story window after the fire broke out Friday morning. He injured his spine, but he ran back inside to save his screaming children.
He said he was anguished when he realized he would not be able to save them all.
‘‘I had a choice to make, a dead child here or a live one,’’ Lewis said.
Rosie Boyd, the victims’ grandmother, told the newspaper that the children had already been grappling with the loss of their 31-year-old mother, Kim Davis, who died several months ago.