A Chicago landlord and building manager attempted to solve an overcrowding problem by lighting the building on fire while tenants slept.

The building owner, Lawrence J. Myers, and the building manager, Marion A. Comier, were each charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated arson, officials said.


The fire killed Sallie Gist, 18; Gist's two children, Rayshawn Reed, 3, and newborn Byron Reed; her twin siblings, Elisha and Elijah Gist, 16; her boyfriend, Byron Reed, 20, and family friend Tiera Davidson, 19.

Their deaths, in a small apartment packed with a dozen sleeping people in a building that was home to more than 20 people in three units, reignited questions about crowding in apartments in Cicero.

The only escape route, down a rear staircase at the 3034 S. 48th Ct. building, was blocked by what is believed to be "the worst fire in Cicero history," town spokesman Ray Hanania said.


Continue reading from the SOURCE: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES