Sunday, October 26, 2014

HE'S BACK: Fire Races Up Boystown Home Overnight; Mattress Set Ablaze Between Homes

A framed photo of Wrigley Field is seen through the burned-out window of a Boystown home Sunday.
The twisted springs of a burned
mattress (or two) lie beneath a Boystown
apartment window Sunday morning.
UPDATE: Chicago Police are saying the fire was caused by a homeless person who was trying to stay warm. Ahem.
She awoke this morning to the sight of flames coming through her window and called 911. Somehow, someway, a mattress was set ablaze between her home and her neighbors. No one was injured.

The Boystown resident's overnight horror is believed to have marked the return of Lake View's serial arsonist, who had not been heard from in exactly one month—last striking with two fires on September 26, a block or so from this morning's blaze.

Fire and police responded to this morning's fire in the 900 block of Newport at 1:37AM. There, off of the alley, a mattress leaning against a yellow-sided home was set ablaze. Fueled by the flammable siding, flames raced to the top of the 4-story home.

A discarded mattress and box spring lie under the Red Line tracks
at Newport, perhaps 100 yards from this morning's fire.
Initial fire crews immediately labeled the incident arson, although the fire marshal pulled back from that until investigators do their thing.

Melted siding droops.
As with the two September 26 fires, this morning's blaze seems to have been intentionally set adjacent to occupied homes, a deadly escalation of the fire bug's operation.

Whoever is starting these fires surely has no trouble finding good fire-starting materials.

Under the Red Line tracks, less than 100 yards from this morning's fire, a mattress and box spring lie stacked up next to trash receptacles. Just begging someone with the wrong intentions to carry them down the alley a bit and strike a match.

Bail Lowered

Meanwhile, bail for Daniel Grunauer, the former Wrigleyville bartender who has been called a possible "associate" of the Lake View arsonist, has seen his bail lowered from "no bail" to $75,000.

Grunauer is charged with burglary after allegedly breaking into an Uptown apartment complex that was subsequently set on fire as well as attempted arson for allegedly lighting a dumpster ablaze in an Uptown alley.  

Flames raced to the top floor of the home. .
Police say Grunauer gave "admissions" in both cases.

Grunauer previously worked at Fiesta Cantina on Clark Street, a half-block from this morning's fire.

He has not been charged with any Lake View fires.
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  1. It is a miracle that no one has been hurt in these fires. This guy is very sick and needs to be caught. It seems like it's a compulsion that is only getting worse.

  2. WHY would anyone leave a mattress out next to their house on a Saturday? Do you think the garbage men are gonna come on Sunday? Put it out the day of garbage pickup and avoid this!!

    1. Because our neighborhood is full of blissfully unaware, antisocial transplants who still think they're on a college campus in Ohio or Michigan.

  3. Seems ridiculous that house-siding is "highly flammable." Like kids PJ,s siding shouldn't be flammable. Odd.

    I agree that this fire bug is one sick a-hole. I hope someone catches him red-handed and he gets what he sorely deserves.

    1. Only a moron would cover brick with siding.

  4. So since the guy is homeless, it's alright to start a mattress on fire and burn a house down to keep warm? Should still be arrested - whether it be for arson or stupidity.

    1. Stupidity is NOT against the law, otherwise the prisons would REALLY be overcrowded!!

  5. Why is it that the police never call it arson when a house catches on fire like that coachhouse on Wellington that went up at the same time as confirmed arson fires a few weeks ago? Smells fishy.

  6. Is there any insight as to how that conclusion (homeless person) was drawn?


    1. thats what im trying to figure out myself. Why is it that whenever something wrong happends in this area its always ALWAYS either a homeless person or BYC and the crib youth. Like dude this is the city and anything can happen. All these people are just targeting and its completely wrong in my opinion.

    2. Our understanding is that he was still there.

    3. "Why is it that whenever something wrong happends in this area its always ALWAYS either a homeless person or BYC and the crib youth."

      Oh, that's far from the truth. "always ALWAYS?" You know better than that.

      The service agencies enjoyed a years-long honeymoon during which connections to their clients were not reported as such. That gave them great deniability. We're simply reporting what had previously been magically tucked away.

  7. "Based on the time it's happening, we think it could be a homeless person that doesn't have anywhere to go and happened to be up at that time of night looking through garbage cans and scraps," Capt. Bill Looney said.

    But it's not THIS homeless person? Right.