Woman, child die after being pulled from fire

A woman and child pulled from a burning building near Jeffery and 79th Street in the South Shore neighborhood both died, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

April 3, 2013 2:30:26 PM PDT
A deadly fire has claimed the life of a woman and a child near Jeffery and 79th Street in the South Shore neighborhood.

Neighbors said that the victim had moved into the third-story apartment about four months ago and that they would see her with her granddaughter.

"I'm kind of numb right now and I'm pretty sure later on I will shed tears because I'm very emotional and they were my neighbors," said neighbor Tanya Brooks.

Forty-one-year-old Suzette Dorsey and her 5-year-old granddaughter were killed in the fire that broke out in an apartment building in the 2000 block of East 79th Street.

Brooks said the victims lived in the third floor in a two-bedroom apartment directly across from her.

"She was a sweet little girl," Brooks said. "I love kids, so I spoke with her a couple of times."

When crews arrived on the scene Wednesday morning, they had a difficult time getting into the apartment. The Fire Chief said the apartment did not have a smoke detector.

"The fire appeared to be in the middle bedroom," said CFD Battalion Chief Tom Cronin. "It had burned through the door, so the fire was coming out through the door and rolling along the ceiling. The search and rescue guys, as the guys were starting to put the water on the fire, crawled underneath that and made it to the front bedroom."

Brooks said it appears the fire was contained in the apartment. She was relieved her mother was not at home at the time the fire erupted.

"I can't say, 'Thank you, God' enough because we could have been there and we wouldn't have made it," Brooks said.

Chicago Police say that a preliminary investigation indicates that the 5-year-old may have been playing a lighter in a small area.