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Posted: 12:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dayton-born Tanji Dewberry and son die in fire

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Tanji Dewberry photo
Courtesy of CBS New York
Tanji Dewberry

By Breaking News Staff

ESSEX COUNTY, N.J. —

Dayton native Tanji Dewberry was killed in a fire at her New Jersey home as was her son, who inspired her to write a popular children's book.

Tanji Dewberry, 37, and 8-year-old Evan perished in a fire Sunday night in Essex County, N.J., the CBS affiliate in New York is reporting.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but sources said it appears an electrical problem sparked the blaze in the boy's bedroom, where firefighters found both bodies, and investigators believe Dewberry was trying to rescue her son, according to the report.

In 2012 Dewberry published "Oh Fiddlesticks!" a book to help parents with children who have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

According to Dayton Daily News archives, Dewberry was the daughter of Cynthia and Darrell Dewberry, both of Dayton. She was selected by a national academic talent search agency for minority youth to attend the Thacher School in Ojai, Calif.

She did volunteer work with the city of Ojai's rescue mission and for the Head Start program. She received A Better Chance's Award for Excellence.

After graduating from Thacker, Dewberry went on to earn a degree on scholarship at Northwestern University.

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