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By Rosemary Regina Sobol, Marwa Eltagouri, and Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — For many, the first sign of danger was a neighbor banging on their doors and yelling, “There’s a fire!” Others were awakened by the frantic barking of their dogs.

By the time they rushed out of the apartment building in the Roseland neighborhood on the Far South Side Monday morning, flames were shooting out the upper-floor windows and shards of glass were falling to the ground.

A woman was screaming, apparently trying to find her children, before she finally jumped from the third floor. A man followed her down.

Four children died in a fire Monday morning, and a man and a woman were seriously injured when they jumped from a Roseland neighborhood apartment building, officials say. A witness describes the event.

When firefighters pulled up at the building, they found four children — ages 6 to 16 — dead in the bedroom of a small third-floor apartment.

The oldest child, Carliysia Clark, 16, was found in a closet apparently trying to shield a younger child, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. “She was on top of the child,” he said.

The family identified the other children as Eriana Smith, 6; Shamarion Clark, 11; and Carlvon Clark, 13. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.

Their mother, Shamaya Coleman, and her boyfriend are expected to survive their jump from the third floor. They were taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Langford said the family was apparently trapped when fire spread from a vacant second-floor apartment, down a hallway and up a stairwell to the third floor. The apartment’s front door was open and flames raced through, he said.

“They couldn’t get out,” he said.

Photo via WikiCommons

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