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Woman found dead after South Side fire identified

By ASHLEE REZIN | staff reporter

A woman found dead after an extra-alarm fire early Sunday in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side has been identified.

Firefighters responded to the blaze about 1:20 a.m. in a three-story, partially occupied courtyard building in the 7900 block of South Maryland, according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Juan Hernandez.

Marquita Cooper, 39, was found on the north side of the building and pronounced dead at the scene at 6:05 a.m., according to fire officials and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Her home address was unknown as of Monday night.

Two families that lived on the south side of the building were able to escape the fire uninjured, Hernandez said. The Department of Human Services was called to the scene, but it was not immediately known whether the building was rendered uninhabitable.

The blaze, which was thought to have originated on the third floor, was extinguished about 2:50 a.m., fire officials said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

An autopsy for Cooper performed on Monday was inconclusive pending further studies, authorities said.15