Teen charged with arson, attempted murder in Aurora house fire

Updated 5/15/2020 2:14 PM

A teenager has been charged with attempted murder in connection with a fire at a house on Aurora's east side in which a girl was injured.

Dajah S. Tilis, 19, of the 1200 block of Fifth Street, Aurora, has been charged with aggravated arson, attempted first-degree murder and arson, all felonies, according to Kane County court records and Aurora police.


A bystander saw smoke coming from the single-story house on the 1200 block of Fifth Street at 11:12 a.m. May 9 and called authorities to report someone trapped inside, according an Aurora Fire Department social media post.

When firefighters arrived, they could hear a 15-year-old girl inside calling for help, according to the fire department. Firefighters forced their way in, pulled the girl from the house and she was taken to a hospital in "serious condition," suffering from smoke inhalation, authorities said.

Firefighters put out the blaze within 15 minutes and also took a 19-year-old, later identified as Tilis, to a hospital for smoke inhalation, according to Aurora Police spokesman Paris Lewbel.

Lewbel said Tilis remains hospitalized.

Lewbel said police and fire investigators are probing the fire because of its "suspicious nature."

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Jim Rhodes, Aurora Fire Department battalion chief and spokesman, said three people -- an adult female, and the two teens -- were displaced by the fire. Rhodes said the adult was the mother of one of the teens but he could not specify which one.

"As of right now, the cause is still being investigated," he said.

During the fire, two pets ran out of the house -- a cat has not been seen since but a neighbor took in the family dog, Rhodes said.

If convicted of the most severe charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated arson, Tilis faces a sentence ranging from six to 30 years in prison with no chance of probation. Her bail amount and next court dates were not immediately available.

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