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Arson suspected in South Side blaze that killed mom, injured 8-year-old boy

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Updated: September 21, 2013 9:21PM

Investigators say arson may be the cause of a “suspicious” fire that killed a mother and gravely wounded her 8-year-old son early Saturday.

Millicent Brown-Johnson, 28, died from injuries suffered during the extra-alarm blaze that erupted about 1:45 a.m. in their three-unit apartment building, authorities said.

Her son remains in critical condition at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, an official said.

The fire is considered “suspicious,” said Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford, who added that the Chicago Police Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating.

Arson is a possible cause of the fire, though no official determination has been announced yet, police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said Saturday night.

When they arrived at the building in the 11200 block of South King Drive, firefighters found flames burning on the top two floors of the building and heavy fire in a stairwell, the fire department said.

Brown-Johnson, who was fatally injured in the fire, was in cardiac arrest when paramedics took her to Roseland Community Hospital, the fire department said. She died at 3:09 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The 8-year-old boy was in cardiac arrest when paramedics took him to Comer Children’s Hospital with second- and third-degree burns and smoke inhalation, Langford said. He was then transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

A firefighter injured at the blaze was taken to Roseland Community Hospital with a minor laceration to the face, police said.

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