South Chicago Arson: Baby Dies, Suspect Arrested (Photos And Facts)

South Chicago Arson: Baby Dies, Suspect Arrested (Photos And Facts)
South Essex Avenue Chicago Fire Chicago Fire Media / Twitter

A extra-alarm arson fire that broke out in a South Side apartment building in Chicago ended up killing four, including an infant and two girls. The man believed to have started the fire is now in custody.


The fire occurred at around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday in an apartment building located at the 8100 block of South Essex Avenue. Responding firefighters called for a 2-11 alarm as fire in the building quickly spread. This would soon be followed by a 3-11 alarm, which came with an emergency medical services plan.

Ten ambulances were sent to the scene, along with around 150 firefighters and extra equipment. As the building continued to burn, people jumped from different floors.

One jumper was Michael Watson, a father desperately trying to save his infant daughter from the flames. Unfortunately, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the jump killed three-month-old Melanie Watson. Fire officials said the young infant suffered head injuries.

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Aside from Melanie, other child victims included four-year-old Madison Watson and seven-year-old Shaniya Staples. The bodies of the older children were found in the apartment. A man next door from them was also found dead.

Meanwhile, Michael had been taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn to undergo treatment for injuries. Having suffered severe burns on his body, he is now in critical condition.

Back at the scene, crews continue to fight the flames in the building. Reports are saying that the fires were started by an arsonist in various parts of the building. Soon, police managed to take a suspect in custody.

The suspect’s name has not yet been released, but his brother Dwayne Anderson believes he had nothing to do with the fire. “(He) ain’t perfect, but he ain’t that type of guy,” said Anderson, who had also been in trouble with the law before.

Meanwhile, LaToya Terry claimed she knows the man who started the fire, and that he had also started a fire before when she refused to give him money.

“He said I owed him $10. I slammed my door in his face and told him I don’t owe him anything. He began to kick and punch at my door,” she told ABC 7. The suspect was also known to use drugs and drink alcohol. Charges are yet to be filed regarding this incident.

Also readWillow Martin – Photos Of 19-year-old Charged With Arson

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