Man found dead after Midlothian apartment building fire
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY firstname.lastname@example.org October 4, 2012 11:56AM
Family members try to console one another as they talk to police at the scene of a fatal fire at the Amberley Courts Apartments in Midlothian, Illinois, Thursday, October 4, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2012 6:22AM
Officials on Thursday were investigating the cause of a Midlothian apartment fire after a man was found dead in the second-floor unit where the fire occurred.
Police had not identified the victim as of early Thursday evening but said he appeared to be in his early 20s.
The cause of death was pending an autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Midlothian firefighters were called about 10:30 a.m. to a second-floor fire in the 12-unit Amberley Courts Apartments in the 3600 block of West 147th Street, according to Deputy Police Chief Steve Zamiar.
It is believed the victim was the sole tenant and was alone at the time of the fire, he said.
Police were working with the Midlothian Fire Department, the state fire marshal’s office, and the Cook County evidence technician team to determine how and where the fire started, Zamiar said.
Asked if the fire was suspicious, Zamiar said, “We just don’t know.”
There was extensive damage inside the apartment and water damage to two apartments below, Zamiar said.
Family members who were on the scene declined to comment.
A man who identified himself as the building owner said he did not know who lived in the unit and declined further comment.
Neighbors said it was the second fire in the building this year.
“Oh, my goodness. This is not good,” said Kathy Faulkner, who has lived across 147th Street for five years. “This is an alarming trend.”
Three years ago, there was a murder one block away involving a fire. A Markham man was charged with murder for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend and aggravated arson for allegedly setting afire her apartment in the 3500 block of West 147th St. The woman died of smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide intoxication and suffered injuries from an assault, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Faulkner said there also was a methamphetamine lab operating in another nearby apartment recently.
“I’m getting a little nervous about my neighborhood. Do you think I should move?” Faulkner said.