Watch CBS News

Grandmother killed, 12-year-old girl hurt in Chicago Molotov cocktail fire

Molotov cocktail sparks fatal fire in Bridgeport, police say
Molotov cocktail sparks fatal fire in Bridgeport, police say 02:39

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A grandmother is dead, and her 12-year-old granddaughter is recovering after a raging fire at their Bridgeport home. Police say someone deliberately set the fire. Then, two boys rushed in to help before firefighters got there. 

Police say just before 2:30 a.m., a man threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of the row home in the 3100 block of South Green Street. He was then seen running north in the alley wearing all black. 

Cleanup was underway Saturday afternoon while neighbors mourned the loss of 54-year-old Charnette Walker. 

"I've never seen a fire that bad in all of my years of living," said Shareia Raymey. "It is terrible. It engulfed everything. Everything in that house is burned to a--burned, just burned. We're devastated. We're heartbroken. She's been with her granddaughter by her side. Take good care of that baby." 

Raymey is a neighbor; Saturday afternoon, she had been up since the fire. 

"Woe unto you who would do such a heinous crime to a mother and her granddaughter who did nothing but serve our community," she said. 

Nova Miles and Jayshawn Owens live next door and sprang into action when they smelled smoke. 

"He seen it, and he run to the police station to go ask for help," Owens said. 

Before fire officials arrived at 2:26, four minutes after the call came in, the two boys kicked in the door. 

"We tried to help the grandma," said Owens. "We told her to jump. She ain't want to jump. So she said, 'Go get my grandbaby from the back.'" 

"So we had ran all the way to the  back, and we had climbed the gates, and we had went on top of the roof to get up in the window. But when we got up in there, it was so much smoke we couldn't even breathe," said Miles. 

They rescued the 12-year-old girl through the bathroom window on the second floor, but her grandmother died. 

"We're thankful that we're not mourning the lives of two people, but we're only mourning the life of one. But even still, it is devastating," said Raymey.

As charred belongings covered the front yard Saturday, all neighbors could do was think of the friendly waves that are no more. 

"We love you," said Raymey. "We are so sorry you had to endure this. We are sending our heartfelt condolences to this family on this day because no one know we would wake up to this nightmare."

The 54-year-old woman's name had not been officially released by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office on Saturday afternoon. 

The 12-year-old girl is expected to recover. 

No one is in custody. 

A woman, 54, was killed and a girl, 12, was hurt as a result of the fire.  Chicago Fire Department
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.