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Woman killed in South Side fire identified

Staff report

8:18 PM EDT, March 10, 2013

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A woman died and three other people were displaced following a house fire in the Oakland neighborhood this morning, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Vershonda Marshall, 41, of the 8700 block of South Burley Avenue, was pronounced dead on the scene at 8:58 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Marshall was taken by paramedics in "extremely critical" condition from the fire in the 4100 block of South Berkeley Avenue to the University of Chicago Hospitals, according to the Chicago Fire Department's media office. The fire began about 8:15 a.m. and was declared under control about 8:40 a.m., said fire department spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim.

The fire caused heavy damage on the home's first floor, with heavy smoke damage on the second floor, Ahlheim said. Firefighters found the woman, who was possibly in her 40s, on the home's second floor, suffering critical smoke injuries, Ahlheim said.

Three other people in the home were able to get out safely, Ahlheim said. Police were notified that two men were displaced by the fire, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien.

The home appeared to have had working smoke detectors, she said.

The cause of the fire was being investigated by the Fire Department's Office of Fire Investigation.

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