4 children killed, 2 adults injured in Far South Side fire

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Four children have been killed in a fire at an apartment building on Chicago's Far South Side.

The children's mother, Shamaya Coleman, and her boyfriend, Nate Johnson, also were taken to the hospital in critical condition after they jumped from the burning building.

The children have been identified as 16-year old Carliysia Clark, 13-year old Carlvon Clark, 12-year old  Shamarian Clark and 7-year old Eriana Smith.

The fire started at 3:40 a.m. Monday at a building located at 11238 S. Vernon  in the Roseland neighborhood.

PHOTOS: Far South Side fire leaves 4 children dead

Fire crews quickly escalated it to a 2-alarm fire.  The fire was struck out just before 4 a.m.

Investigators believe the fire started on the second floor, but does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

Official records indicate the city has cited the landlord of the building several times in the past for building code violations including not having enough smoke detectors.

Firefighters say they did not find a working smoke detector in the unit where they believe the fire started, or the apartment where the children were found.

The father of the youngest child, Eriana Smith, says the lock on the apartment's back door was broken and building management had bolted the door shut, leaving the front door the only means of escape.

Neighbors and family friends have planned a vigil outside the building for 6 p.m. Monday evening.

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6 comments

  • Landlord?

    The below comment is not a reflection of all the hardworking landlords that try their best to maintain their properties.
    But the facts are the facts.
    A bolted/barred exterior door that does not provide fire egress is outrageous.
    A apartment with no working smoke detectors (especially after the building department had been out to the building in question) there is no excuse for that in my eyes period.
    I only hope that this tragic event will encourage people to buy their own smoke detector or batteries (5-10$ each) for the smoke detectors (one detector is better than none) in your place.
    I dont care if you rent or not. If the landlord doesnt buy them or doesnt want to buy batteries for the detectors already there. Take pictures, buy the detectors & put them in your homes.
    Bill the landlord later for them. Let them irresponsible landlords dare go in front of a housing judge and say thats not their responsibility.
    Because either way you look at it, once you or a loved one is lost in a fire you cannot bring that person back.
    Rest in peace children.