Breaking News Bar
updated: 7/24/2012 9:28 PM

Man charged with murder in fatal Lombard fire

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Paula Morgan, 24, died in a fire early Sunday at this home on the 1000 block of South Ahrens Avenue in Lombard. A Villa Park man was charged Tuesday with setting the fire that killed her.

       Paula Morgan, 24, died in a fire early Sunday at this home on the 1000 block of South Ahrens Avenue in Lombard. A Villa Park man was charged Tuesday with setting the fire that killed her.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

A 23-year-old Villa Park man was charged Tuesday with the first-degree murder of a Lombard woman who died in an arson fire the day before her 25th birthday, prosecutors said.

The suspect, Todd Mandoline, also faces charges of arson and aggravated arson in the Sunday fire that killed 24-year-old Paula Morgan.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Authorities allege that Mandoline set the fire about 4 a.m. following a birthday party for Morgan at her mother's home on the 1000 block of Ahrens Avenue in Lombard, where she lived with her 6-year-old son.

A neighbor said she woke up just before 4 a.m. after hearing the sound of a car alarm. When she looked outside, she saw that a car parked in Morgan's driveway was engulfed in flames.

"The flames were as high as the garage," said the neighbor, who asked that her name not be used.

At that point, the fire hadn't spread to the garage, according to the neighbor, but eventually, the flames did reach the house.

"We're in shock that it even got as bad as it was," the neighbor said. "We just thought that the car was on fire, and that it would be put out. For everything to turn out so tragic, I can't believe it."

Police said firefighters pulled Morgan and her boyfriend, a Villa Park man in his 20s, from the upstairs of the home, while Morgan's son managed to escape on his own.

Neighbors say the 6-year-old was safe outside of the house before firefighters arrived.

Deputy Police Chief Pat Rollins said the male victim remained in critical condition Tuesday at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Mandoline has prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, criminal damage to property and marijuana possession, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear in DuPage County bond court Wednesday morning, with a news conference to follow.

On Monday, Morgan's former longtime boyfriend and the father of her child said he will remember her as a "loving, caring" mother who dedicated her life to their son.

"She was a wonderful woman," said Nick Beckwith, 25, who was caring for the boy after the fire. "It was all about her kid."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here