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Woman, 44, charged with murder, accused of setting fatal Rogers Park fire

A woman was killed and another was injured early Tuesday when a four-story apartment building caught fire in the 1700 block of West Touhy Avenue | Fire Media Affairs

A 44-year-old woman was charged Thursday with setting a fire at a Rogers Park apartment building that caused the death of another woman when she jumped from the top floor of the building.

Margaret Reed, of the Lincoln Square neighborhood, is charged with two counts of murder and a count of aggravated arson — all felonies, according to Chicago Police.

Reed was identified as the person who set the fire shortly before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 1700 block of West Touhy, police said. She was taken into custody the same day.

Firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire after it started on a back porch and spread throughout the building, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Margaret Reed | Chicago Police
Margaret Reed | Chicago Police

Maria Silva, 51, jumped from the top floor of the four-story building before firefighters could reach her, according to authorities. She was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, where she was pronounced dead.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has not released further details about the death.

Another woman suffered smoke inhalation in the fire and was taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital, where her condition was stabilized, the fire department said.

Surveillance cameras recorded a person at the site of the fire shortly before it started, leading to a person of interest being interviewed by detectives, according to a statement from the office of Ald. Joe Moore (49th) on Wednesday morning.

Reed was expected to appear in court Friday for a bail hearing.