A 3-year-old girl died in a Rogers Park apartment fire after the girl apparently set fire to a mattress in her family’s apartment while playing with a lighter, reports The Chicago Tribune.
LeAndrea White was found dead in the three-story apartment building of West Juneway Terrace within an hour after the fire started about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to police and fire officials.
LaSheena Weekly, the girl’s mother, said she had repeatedly admonished LeAndrea not to play with lighters. The girl and her twin sister are the youngest of Weekly’s eight children.
LeAndrea’s sister had run in to tell her LeAndrea had lit the mattress on fire, Weekly said. She went into the room and looked for LeAndrea. The room had been cleared of furniture except the mattress, which was leaning against the wall, because the family had been fighting an outbreak of bedbugs.
“When I tried to lift that mattress up, I would have seen her,” Weekly said. “I would have seen my daughter under the mattress. I don’t think she was in that room.”
Weekly tried to throw the mattress out the window, but opening the windows just caused the flames to spread. So she left the room and ran to get neighbors’ help, she and family members said.
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