Woman killed in Pilsen fire identified as CPS teacher Kathleen Gomez

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago Public Schools teacher was killed Monday morning in a house fire in the Pilsen neighborhood, Chicago police said.

Authorities responded to the fire at about 2 a.m. in the 1800-block of South Peoria Street. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire inside the two-story home a short time later.

Kathleen Gomez, 48, was found badly burned inside the home and pronounced dead, police said.

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A 48-year-old CPS teacher was killed in a fire in the Pilsen neighborhood Monday morning.

Gomez was a teacher at Gage Park High School and preparing to move to Clemente High School, according to her sister.

CPS teacher killed in Pilsen fire ID'd

Chicago Public Schools teacher Kathleen Gomez, 48, was killed in a fire in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Family photo

The unmarried teacher was one of three sisters whose large family indeed owns property both in Pilsen and the Bridgeport neighborhood. Family members were too distraught to talk on camera but pointed to her devotion to Moody Church as indicative of her giving personality.

"Whenever she had an issue or a problem she would seek a biblical perspective on that. She always wanted to know how do I line up my action with what God's work has to say," said Pastor Larry McCarthy, The Moody Church.

Pastor McCarthy met Gomez five years ago as she sought spiritual guidance through adult classes at the 150-year-old evangelical institution.

"She had a vivacious personality, she had a servant's heart, but her faith in Jesus was really what you saw every day," Pastor McCarthy said.

That led her to organizing summer bible camps for kids and an increasing presence in her community

"Because of her life and how she lived it and even in her death, that might be the impetus is that now draws people to God, that makes them wonder about what is next," Pastor McCarthy said.

Neighbors said the woman who lived here was well-liked and always managed to take care of the building. They watched as she was brought out of the home.

"Shocked, total shock," said neighbor Maria Torres. "I mean, I expected it because when we came out to the porch and we saw them bringing out her body, she looked lifeless."

A 48-year-old CPS teacher was killed in a fire in the Pilsen neighborhood Monday morning.

Other residents were heartbroken to hear the woman was killed.

"We grew up here in this community," said Steve, who worked for the victim. "She was well known. Her and her mom owned property around this neighborhood."

"She was real nice," said Romero Delgado, who worked for the victim. "She was kindhearted...It was sad that what happened."

Firefighters were later called back to put out a hot spot. Authorities said there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

Fire started in a living room on the second floor. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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