Mother killed, son injured in fire on Far South Side

An 8-year-old boy is on life support, but declared brain dead after a suspicious fire that also killed his mother, authorities said.

Millicent Brown-Johnson and her son Jovan were always smiling, according to family members. Those smiles are gone forever after a suspected arson fire at their home took the life of the 29-year-old mom. The 8-year-old is not expected to survive much longer.

“His heart is beating but he has no brain activity,” said Michelle Jackson, Millicent Brown-Johnson’s sister.

Jackson shared the heartbreak and anger her family is feeling.

“I’m very outraged that someone could do such a devilish act,” said Jackson.

The fire broke out about 1:45 a.m. in a three-story brick building in the 11200 block of South Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The mother and son were badly burned and found in their bedrooms when firefighters responded. Both suffered cardiac arrest on the scene.

Millicent passed away a short time later, but Jovan, still fighting for his life, was rushed to Loyola Hospital in Maywood.

Family members spent the day holding  Jovan’s hand, praying for his recovery, and grieving the loss of Millicent.

“She was a loving mother, a loving woman. My nephew was a loving kid. He loved his family, loved singing, loved going to church, and loved drawing. You could not have asked for a better kid,” Jackson said.

Chicago firefighters passed out smoke detectors to neighbors this morning in response to the deadly fire. They say there was not a working smoke detector near the stairs where the suspected arson fire may have started.

Chicago police are now investigating.

“I hope that the police find whoever did this and bring justice,” Jackson said.

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