WEST ENGLEWOOD — A woman described by relatives as a free-spirited world traveler died of smoke inhalation in a South Side house fire Friday, officials said.
Fire crews were called to the single-family home at 5618 S. Paulina St. about 6:45 a.m., Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. Relatives identified the victim as 26-year-old Keosha Marshall.
“She traveled the world. She loved her family. She just loved being happy,” said Nicole Green, 31, Marshall’s cousin. “She had a smile on her face every time you saw her. She’s going to be so missed.”
Marshall was a free spirit who bounced around from place to place and recently lived in Miami, Fla., Texas and New York, Green said. She returned to her hometown Chicago this fall.
Damion Mosby, 29, was among the neighbors who noticed smoke and flames pouring from the first-floor window of the home early Friday. He said he rushed into the front door, crouched down and shouted loudly, hoping to awaken anyone inside.
"I got in the door, but it was coming so fast. The fire was rising…I didn't want to go through it because I didn't think I would make it out," he said.
Langford said investigators found an unopened smoke detector inside the home. Details on what caused the fire weren't immediately available. A Twitter message from the Chicago Fire Department indicated that fire crews would be handing out fire safety material to Englewood residents.
Next-door neighbor Ashley Burnett, 21, said Marshall kept her home and yard clean and was always quick to lend a hand.
"She was a sweet girl. She wasn't outside a lot. A few friends would come by, and that's it," said next-door neighbor Ashley Burnett, 21. "It's all really sad."