Posts Tagged Shaniya Staples

3-11 Alarm fire in Chicago kills four, 8-23-16 (more)

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The man who set a southside Chicago fire that killed three children and a man did so because he paid a woman $10 for sex that he didn’t receive, according to prosecutors.

Reginald Hester, 51, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated arson, accused of setting fire to a large apartment complex on Aug. 23. He was ordered held without bail Wednesday.

A 7-year-old girl, a 4-year-old girl, a 3-month-old girl and a 56-year-old man died in the fire.

Around midnight on Aug. 23, Hester was walking down the street near the apartment building in the 8100 block of South Essex Avenue when he offered a woman $10 for sex, said Cook County prosecutor Becky Walters. The woman agreed, and the two walked to her apartment in the building that was later set ablaze. She went inside her place to get condoms but never returned to Hester, Walters said.

Hester was left near a rear porch that held cardboard boxes, a couch, a grill and lighter fluid. He is accused of setting a fire near the rear porch and in an interior stairway of the apartment complex, Walters said.

A witness in the building smelled smoke, looked out her window and saw Hester walking away from the building in a red sweater. He was wearing the same clothes witnesses saw him in and smelled of smoke, she said.

With help from two witnesses, police picked up Hester in the 7600 block of South Shore Drive at 7:15 a.m. the day of the fire, but he was released pending further investigation.

Hester, who has has five prior felonies, was picked up by officers Monday in the first block of North Waller Avenue. During his second time in police custody, Hester admitted to detectives that he started the fire. He told officers he started the fire because “he was pissed and wanted to scare that b—-.”


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3-11 Alarm fire in Chicago kills four, 8-23-16 (more)

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Chicago police are questioning a person of interest as they investigate a deadly fire on the city’s South Side.

Four people, including three young sisters, died in the blaze at an apartment building near 81st and Essex in the South Chicago neighborhood.  One man was critically injured when he jumped from a third floor apartment with his 3-month-old daughter in his arms. The baby’s sisters, ages 4 and 7, were found in their burned out apartment.

Flames consumed the second and third floors of the building just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Fire investigators suspect arson. The Chicago Fire Department says it’s getting help from federal agencies, and the ATF will utilize a specially trained dog that can detect accelerants.

One resident says a man who lived down the street intentionally set the fire after he argued with her over money.

EquityBuild CEO & Chairman Jerry Cohen and EquityBuild President Shaun Cohen released a statement on Tuesday, which states in part:

Our hearts are breaking over the deaths of four members of our extended EquityBuild family in a fire caused by arson, last night at our building located at 8100 S. Essex Avenue in Chicago. This senseless act of one individual is a profound tragedy.

Three sisters, Shaniya Staples, age 7, Madison Watson, age 4, and 3-month-old Mellanie Watson, died last night, along with an adult man whose name has not yet been officially released. Others were also injured in the fire, building residents and Chicago firefighters. They are all in our prayers, along with their families. Our hearts go out to them.

Also, building residents have been displaced just as school is about to start. Our Chicago-based team is working aggressively with our property manager to provide housing for them. And we are working with the Red Cross to help provide clothing and support.”

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