SOUTH CHICAGO – Chicago fire officials say a man is in custody after four people were killed in a suspicious apartment fire on the city’s South Side.
Three girls ages 3-months-old, 4-years-old, and 7-years-old died in the fire.
The Cook County medical examiner on Tuesday morning identified the baby girl as Maline Watson. She was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. at Comer Children’s Hospital. The other two girls have not been identified yet.
A man also died in the morning blaze, but the medical examiner says he hasn’t been identified at this time.
Chicago fire officials say it took some 200 firefighters from 58 fire companies about three hours to put out the fire.
The 4-year-old and 6-year-old girls were found dead in an apartment on the third floor. The man was found dead in an adjacent third floor apartment.
Chicago Deputy Fire Commissioner Arriel Gray said at a Tuesday morning news conference that “most stairwells were compromised” and firefighters couldn’t use them. He says that prevented them from attacking the blaze from inside the building.
Chicago police say the blaze appears to have been deliberately set after a domestic argument. Gray says the fire was suspicious and is under investigation. He says the department has its bomb and arson squad on the scene.
According to The Chicago Tribune, a man got into an argument with someone inside of the building. Both people involved in the argument escaped the fire, and police say the man suspected of starting it is in custody.