Fire kills 4 people, including 3 young sisters; police question person of interest

CHICAGO -- Police are questioning a person of interest in connection with a fire that killed four people, including three young sisters.

The fire started early Tuesday morning in an apartment building in the 8100 block of South Essex Avenue in the South Chicago neighborhood.

A 36-year-old father jumped from a third-story window with his infant daughter in his arms.

3-month old Mellanie Watson later died at the hospital.  Her father is in critical condition.

The girl's sisters, Madison Watson, 4, and Shaniya Staples, 7, were found in a third-floor apartment.

The body of a man was found in the apartment next door.

Latoya Terry, who lives in the building, says a man asked her for money and when she refused, he started the fire.

Tearful relatives gathering outside the building expressed anger over the possibility that the fire was deliberately set.

“The man who did this, you will reap what you sow.  You took three of my nieces from me,” said an aunt of the young victims. “You will get what you deserve. You will definitely get what you deserve.”

Chicago fire officials say it took some 200 firefighters from 58 fire companies about three hours to put out a fire.

Police are expected to release more information in the investigation later today.