Seven Arson Fires In Heart Of Chicago Leave One Dead, Dozens Displaced
The Chicago Fire Department believes that seven fires in the Heart of Chicago—which killed one and left 25 people without homes—were deliberately set. One hundred firefighters responded and Fire Department District Chief Paul Foertsch said, "It’s tragic. It really is."
The blazes started around 3 a.m. According to the Chicago Tribune, "At least seven separate fires were... apparently set in alley trash cans that spread to garages and at least one home."
Firefighters, who had been on the 2100 block of West 21st Street, found a man's body in a garage and his death is being treated as a homicide. Other fires were on the 2200 block of South Blue Island, 1700 and 1800 blocks of West 21st Street and 2100 block of South Wood.
One resident said firefighters "came and said, 'How bad is it?' I said, 'It's not that bad, because it's just three trash cans.' But then it just started to get worse. Once they were done over here, they noticed that the buildings over there were getting burned down like crazy."
Another neighbor explained to CBS Chicago that he reentered a burning building to make sure two children and their parents were safe: "Everybody get up! Everybody we have to get out! The house is on fire!’ I’ve got to go for the people in the basement, because the people in the basement is sleeping, and it was locked. The whole doors, it was locked. I broke the doors and I went to the window and broke the A/C in the window, and I called everybody, ‘Get up everybody, the house is on fire!’"