South Side fire claims mother of two earlier victims

The mother of two children who died Monday after a South Side house fire has also died, fire department spokesman Will Knight said today.

Maria Escareno, 24, died around 1 p.m. Tuesday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where she was taken suffering from smoke inhalation after the 5 a.m. fire on Monday. Escareno never regained consciousness, Knight said.

The fire, which began in the basement of the 1 1/2 story house at 3217 W. 66th Street, was caused by overloaded extension cords, Knight said.

Escareno's two children Juan, 10 months, and Jesse, 3, died of cardiac arrest brought on by smoke inhalation shortly after the fire began on Monday.