Mother says son didn’t set fatal fire

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The mother of a man suspected of setting a deadly fire that killed his girlfriend  and critically injured their two children is speaking out.

Nathaniel Beler died of injuries he suffered in the fire at his mother’s home in the 4200 block of west 21st Place in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood Saturday.

Beler’s girlfriend Taniya Johnson died. Neighbors told police they heard the couple arguing before the fire broke out.

Police accuse Beler of setting the deadly fire but his mother Willie Beler says Taniya is responsible.

Willie Beler says she put the fire out with a blanket. Her grandchildren, ages 3 and 9, are hospitalized in critical condition with severe burns.

Beler says her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year, but was taking his medication.


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