Person of interest released in fire that killed 3 young sisters, man

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CHICAGO -- A person who faced Chicago police questioning as part of the investigation into a fire that killed four people is released without charges. No one else is being held at this time.

Four people, including three young sisters, died in the blaze at an apartment building near 81st and Essex in the South Chicago neighborhood Tuesday morning.

LaToya Terry, who lived in the building, identified the man detectives questioned for the better part of two days and then released.

Now comes the news that Terry herself was convicted of residential arson, according to public records.  She had been sentenced to six years in prison. The 2007 Chicago Heights incident left a family of 11 homeless less than a week before Christmas, according to a Daily Southtown report.

However there is no indication at this time that Area South detectives have a new person of interest in Terry. Published reports say she denies any involvement in the deadly fire.
The Cook County Medical Examiner says one of the victims, three month-old Melanie Watson, died from the injuries she suffered in a three-story jump. She was in her father's arms, who was trying to escape the flames. He suffered broken bones and spinal injuries.

Shawn Staples, who lost his daughter Shaniya Staples, says he wants answers.

Kyra Smith, who lost daughters Melanie Watson, Madison Watson, and Shaniya Staples, is thanking the community for their support.

The fourth person killed was 56-year-old Kirk Johnson. His death is considered a homicide.

A GoFundMe webpage is set up to help pay for funeral costs.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.