Woman, baby found dead after Englewood fire - FOX 32 News Chicago

Woman, baby found dead in fire at babysitter`s home

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Baby Mi'leyah Johnson, who died in the fire (pictured with mom Cynthia Redmond). Baby Mi'leyah Johnson, who died in the fire (pictured with mom Cynthia Redmond).
11-month-old Mi'leyah Johnson 11-month-old Mi'leyah Johnson
Dant'e Webb tried to rescue the baby from the burning baby, but couldn't get into the room. Dant'e Webb tried to rescue the baby from the burning baby, but couldn't get into the room.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Michelle Redmond got a lot of hugs Tuesday from supporters who stopped by her house to offer condolences after a tragic fire that took the life of Redmond's 11-month-old daughter Mi'leyah Johnson.

The fire happened at an elderly babysitter's home in the 6700-block of South Emerald around 11 a.m. The fire department brought the fire under control after about an hour, but by then, two people had lost their lives.

"I am heartbroken, my heart is heavy, I don't understand, but maybe it's not for to understand, all I know is it's in the Lord's hand now," Redmond said of her daughter's unfortunate death.

Mi'leyah would have celebrated her first birthday on October 29th. Her mother dropped her off at this Englewood home this morning.

Sarah Thomas, 76, lived there and babysat the little girl. She had also been Redmond's babysitter when she was a child.

The fire department said the fire started in Thomas' home and then spread to two others.

Neighbor Dant'e Webb heard Thomas yelling for help from the back porch, saying a baby was trapped inside. He tried to help, but could not get to the baby who was in a first floor front room.

"There was smoke coming out, like raging fire that's how the smoke was coming," Webb recalls. "And I got low and I crawled in as far as I could, and the smoke was so thick, if anybody was in there they probably wouldn't have made it anyway."

Thomas's disabled sister, Geneva White, 49, was trapped on the second floor and also died.

Mi'leyah's mother said she doesn't blame Thomas, who she loved like a grandmother.

"She did all that she could, she did all that she could," says Redmond. "For her to be 76 she did all that she could. I don't hold her responsible for it at all."

"Mi'leyah will be truly missed, by each and every one of us, but Michelle said it the best for all of us, it's an accident, we have no control over it, but God is good and God will take care of all of us," Mi'leyah's grandmother told FOX 32.

The local school counsel at Dunn Technical Academy offered prayers for the family Tuesday night. Redmond's mother teaches there and she serves as LSC Chair.

Redmond said she will treasure her last memory of her daughter from this morning.

"I gave her a double kiss and she said ‘Bye, bye mommy,' and she smiled, gave me the prettiest smile that I can be blessed and remember with, she gave me, and she waved to me. The best moment that I have."

The fire department is still trying to determine what started the blaze. The two homes next door also suffered extensive damage, but no one was hurt in either of those houses.

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