The fire that killed four of Shamaya Coleman’s children raced through their South Side building within minutes. But it was a tragedy years in the making.
It began before the fire started one floor below, in an apartment without working smoke detectors. It was already in motion before the flames spread through a broken door and up the stairs through darkened hallways.
In fact, the tragedy began long before the single mother moved her family into the modest one-bedroom home.
They were, like so many families, hoping for better days. They were also completely unaware the city had known for years the building was a firetrap.