Alexia Fernandez
September 21, 2017 07:04 AM

An Illinois man strangled his two sons to death early Tuesday morning and then set his home on fire before killing himself while his wife slept, PEOPLE confirms.

Eric N. Ringenberg, 33, was identified by police in a release provided by the Bloomington Police Department.

Police responded to the fire at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, where they found Eric and his two sons, a 2-year-old and a newborn, dead in the basement. The children were only identified by the initials, CR and RR.

Police say Eric’s wife woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm ringing. She tried to call for help but could not locate any phones in the house, including her cell.

The mom-of-two desperately tried to locate her husband and children as flames engulfed the home but she suffered smoke inhalation and was forced to flee.

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According to authorities, the home had surveillance cameras installed that showed Eric hiding the family’s cell phones, including his wife’s, in a kitchen cabinet.

Autopsies conducted later on Tuesday showed the boys were strangled to death, according to the release. Police say surveillance footage shows Eric’s death was by suicide, and that he intentionally set fire to the home from the basement.

His wife was listed in fair condition late Tuesday, according to WGLT.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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