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No Smoke Detectors In Home Where Baby, Woman Died In Fire

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Mi'leyah Johnson (left) and Geneva White (right) were killed in a fire in Englewood on Oct. 15, 2013. (Photos supplied to CBS)

Mi’leyah Johnson (left) and Geneva White (right) were killed in a fire in Englewood on Oct. 15, 2013. (Photos supplied to CBS)

CHICAGO (CBS) – Fire Department officials said there were no working smoke detectors in the Englewood home where a baby and a woman died in an extra-alarm fire on Tuesday.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the smell of smoke still hung in the air when firefighters returned to the 6700 block of South Emerald Avenue on Wednesday to pass out free smoke detectors, and fire prevention literature.

Firefighters said there were no working smoke detectors in the house where 11-month-old Mi’leyah Johnson and 49-year-old Geneva White were killed when flames swept through a two-story home Tuesday morning.

Deputy Chief Chris Lyons said the fire appeared to be electrical in nature, based on a preliminary investigation.

“It originated in the basement, and then basically burned inside the structure, up through the kitchen,” he said.

Heavy smoke clouds the view of three homes that caught fire in the 6700 block of South Emerald Avenue on Oct. 15, 2013. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya)

Heavy smoke clouds the view of three homes that caught fire in the 6700 block of South Emerald Avenue on Oct. 15, 2013. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya)

Homeowner Sarah Thomas said she was babysitting Mi’leyah, and was taking out the garbage, when she heard an explosion, and saw flames coming from the roof.

Neighbors tried to get to Mi’leyah and White, who was disabled, but could not get inside because of the heavy flames and smoke.

After the fire was out, Mi’leyah was found on a couch on the first floor. White was found on the second floor.

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