Arrest Made in Chicago Fire That Killed 4
An unnamed person was taken into custody after a multi-alarm fire in a South Side Chicago apartment complex killed four people, including three children early Tuesday morning.
Chicago Fire officials have evidence that lead them to believe someone intentionally set the fire and that person of interest was taken into custody. Neighbor Latoya Terry says she had an argument with the person she believes set the fire after a petty argument over $10.
According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, the three girls were sisters; Shaniyah Staples, 7, Madison Watson, 4, and Melanie Watson, 3 months. The infant died of head injuries when her father, Michael Watson, jumped out of a third story window with her in his arms, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Kirk Johnson, 56, a next-door neighbor was also killed in the blaze, WLS-TV reported.
One woman told reporters that the children were her nieces who were staying with the 4-year-old’s father in the building when the fire broke out. Approximately 200 firefighters responded to a call reporting a three story building on fire at 1:40 a.m.
Officials says that the building stairwells were consumed with so much smoke that all residents were forced to exit the 32-unit apartment building through windows.
After the fire was set, crews searched for hours before the three of the victims were found dead in different sections of the building.
Standing aside plenty of family and friends, the girls’ parents remembered them at a candlelight vigil.
“I just loved them so much and they loved me,” their mother Kyra Smith said.
“They are looking down on me. Down on all of this and see how much love and how much support they had out there,” Shaniyah’s father, Shawn Staples added.
Image: Charred and broken widows can be seen on the third floor of a Chicago apartment building where a fire appears to have been deliberately set, killing multiple people. AP / M. Spencer Green