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updated: 7/23/2012 8:18 PM

Lombard fire victim was devoted to her son

Lombard mom was found dead after suspicious fire

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  • Twenty four-year-old Paula Morgan was found dead after an early morning Sunday fire at this home on the 1000 block of South Ahrens Avenue in Lombard.

       Twenty four-year-old Paula Morgan was found dead after an early morning Sunday fire at this home on the 1000 block of South Ahrens Avenue in Lombard.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 

A woman found dead after a Lombard fire was remembered Monday as a "loving, caring" mother dedicated to her 6-year-old son as investigators questioned a suspect in the case.

Paula Morgan, 24, was pronounced dead after fire tore through the home she shared with her mother and child on the 1000 block of South Ahrens Avenue about 4 a.m. Sunday.

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Authorities confirmed they were questioning a person of interest Monday but said the investigation was ongoing and no charges had been filed.

At the time of her death, Morgan was nearing completion of a business accounting degree through Arizona State University and had a lot to look forward to, her ex-boyfriend told the Daily Herald.

"She was a wonderful woman, and it's a shame that she's gone," Nick Beckwith, 25, of Lombard, said. "She loved her son very much. It was all about her kid. She was the best woman I've ever known."

Lombard fire officials said they rescued two people trapped in the second story of the house, which was fully ablaze when they arrived. Both victims were taken to area hospitals. Their conditions weren't immediately available.

Beckwith said police contacted him early Sunday to pick up his and Morgan's 6-year-old son. "He was home but made it out, luckily," Beckwith said.

Beckwith said Morgan would have celebrated her 25th birthday on Monday. He said the they met in eighth grade and dated about 10 years before breaking up a year or two ago.

Despite the breakup, Beckwith said, the two remained friends and visited often. "It felt like we were together forever," he said. "I will never forget her."

Beckwith said Morgan had been in an off-and-on relationship with another man in recent months. He said her son has been told of his mother's death.

Firefighters estimated damage to the home at up to $300,000, while the cause of the blaze remained under investigation. Morgan's car, an Acura, was parked in the driveway and also was burned.

• Daily Herald staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.

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