Woman’s daughter, son-in-law killed in fire: ‘I believe my baby is gone’
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter email@example.com May 17, 2013 7:02AM
Updated: June 19, 2013 6:08AM
Everlina Hill sat on nearby steps, crying and praying, as she waited for official word of what she correctly suspected in her heart: that her daughter and son-in-law died in an early morning fire in their Chicago Heights home.
“They told me little bits and pieces,” she said. “I believe my baby is gone.”
Hill, 66, of Chicago, said her daughter Lillian Harrison, 47, and son-in-law Lamont, 42, lived in the home in the 200 block of 24th Street from which firefighters pulled two bodies early Friday.
Later Friday, the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the couple died in the fire.
Lillian Harrison worked in security at Kmart and took care of her diabetic husband, who had one leg amputated, Hill said.
Hill said Lillian Harrison was the child she most counted on to help her with errands and paying bills.
“She would be there when nobody else would,” Hill said. “The rest of them might think about it, but Lillian was always there.”
A neighbor, who declined to provide her name, said she saw smoke pouring out of the upper windows of the two-story vinyl clapboard home about 1 a.m.
“I came outside and said . . . ‘The whole front of the house is on fire.’”
Chicago Heights Fire Chief Jamie Angell said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but that an electrical cause and arson have both been ruled out. Angell said the fire is believed to have started in a front first-floor room. Firefighters said the home did not have working smoke detectors.
As family and neighbors watched firefighters pick through the burned-out remains, a driver for Bloom Township Senior Wheels pulled up to give Lamont Harrison a ride to a dialysis treatment, only to learn of the fire.
“We all liked picking him up,” said driver Brad Susan. “He talked about baseball and football. He really liked the Bulls.”