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Woman Charged In South Shore Arson

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Whitney A. Holmes / photo from Chicago Police.

Whitney A. Holmes / photo from Chicago Police.

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CHICAGO (STMW) — A woman who allegedly lit her boyfriend’s couch on fire following an argument — sparking a fire that hurt six people in a South Shore apartment building — has been charged with arson.

Whitney A. Holmes, 27, was charged with a felony count of aggravated arson while knowing a person is present, police News Affairs said in a release. She is also charged with misdemeanor domestic battery causing bodily harm.

Six people, including a child, were injured when heavy flames spread from a single apartment to a hallway of the four-story building at 7102 South Jeffery Blvd. about 10:35 p.m. Wednesday, according to police and fire officials.

Officers called to the scene spoke with an injured man who told them his girlfriend had set his couch on fire after the two had a fight, police said.

Emergency crews also rescued several people from the upper floors of the 50-unit building who could not otherwise have made it out, Deputy District Chief Kenneth Wojtecki told reporters at the scene.

The building had working smoke detectors, Wojtecki said.

“It was contained to one apartment, although it did break out of the apartment into the hallway, which made things a little bit more difficult” for firefighters, Wojtecki said. “This building has 50 units, so a lot of residents. . . . The guys should be commended on the great job they did.”

Four of the injured were taken to area hospitals in good condition. Two were taken to hospitals in serious condition, he said.

The blaze, which drew 80 paramedics and firefighters to the scene, was extinguished about 11:15 p.m., fire officials said.

Holmes, of the 2000 block of East 72nd Street, will appear for a bond hearing later Saturday, police said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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