Boy, 8, dies from injuries in suspicious fire; his mother died hours earlier
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter September 22, 2013 1:19PM
Updated: October 24, 2013 6:29AM
Four days after his eighth birthday, a little boy has died from injuries suffered in a “suspicious” fire that also claimed his mother’s life early Saturday.
Millicent Brown-Johnson, 28, and her son Jovan Perkins were killed by an extra-alarm blaze that erupted about 1:45 a.m. Saturday in their three-unit apartment building, authorities said.
The fire is considered “suspicious,” said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. He said the Chicago Police Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating.
Arson is a possible cause, but no official determination has been announced, said Chicago Police Officer Veejay Zala, a department spokesman.
Brown-Johnson worked at the American Girl Place on North Michigan Avenue for about seven years, said her sister, Michelle Jackson. She was also working toward a physical therapy degree at Chicago State University.
“She was a loving mother,” Jackson said. “A loving wife. A loving sister who cared for family.”
Jovan turned 8 Tuesday.
Brown-Johnson’s husband was working at his job as a package handler for United Parcel Service at the time of the fire, according to Jackson, who said he’s “devastated.”
When firefighters arrived at the building at 112th and King Drive, they found flames burning on the top two floors of the building and heavy fire in a stairwell, according to the fire department.
Brown-Johnson 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, where he died at 11:15 p.m. Saturday, the medical examiner’s office said.
A firefighter injured at the blaze was taken to Roseland Community Hospital with a minor laceration to the face, police said.