Vigil Held After Fatal South Side Fire

CHICAGO (CBS) — Family of seven-year-old Shaniya Staples gather together Friday at 81st and Essex for a vigil, remembering her once more.

Staples was one of four who died in a South Chicago fire Tuesday. Three young sisters — 3-month-old Melanie Watson, 4-year-old Madison Watson, and 7-year-old Shaniya Staples – were killed in the blaze at 81st and Essex, along with 56-year-old Kirk Johnson, who lived in a neighboring apartment.

Staples father, Shawn Staples took to Facebook to announce the vigil and praising Shaniya’s mother, who was the mother of all three girls who died in the fire.

“You are continuing to hold it together, day after day,” Shawn Staples said. “And that itself shows what a strong person you are.”

He also thanked friends and family for their support.

“Without you all,” Staples said. ‘I don’t know if I could push forward.”

Chicago police had been questioning a man in connection to the fire since early Tuesday, but he was released Thursday without charges. Police confirmed Friday they are now questioning several new people.

The investigation is now in the hands of the Chicago Police Bomb and Arson Unit. They have not released any information.

Families of all three girls hope that investigators are on the right track. The family asks for help for funeral expenses and have set up a GoFundMe page, ‘Remembering Our 3 Princesses.’

The family holds a candlelight vigil Friday at 8pm at 81st and Essex in South Chicago.

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