Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CHILD'S PLAY: Arson Fire Rips North Center 3-Flat

Several people lost their homes last night after a fire, one of the most serious in a month-long string of arsons, ripped through a 3-flat in the 1900 block of W. Diversey.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which broke out at 6:40PM.

"Dogs inside could be heard...I doubt anything in any of the units is salvageable," a witness said.

The fire began in trash bins under the wooden rear porch of the structure, according to a source who spoke under the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the incident.

At least 12 suspicious fires were reported in the immediate area of last night's blaze over the weekend.

Police Tuesday night focused their attention on suspects residing in the nearby Lathrop Homes. Up to four pre-teen boys were being immediately sought, according to officers on the scene.

But, a long-time investigator warned this morning, the boys are not the only problem.

A middle-aged white man with shoulder-length hair, described as “homeless looking,” is still believed to be responsible for other intentionally-set fires, most to the east of last night’s fire.

“I can say the police presence in the alleys tonight has been noticeable,” said a man who lives near last night’s fire. “Unfortunately for the folks that lived on Diversey, it's too late.”

CWB Chicago first reported on the since-growing arson spree on October 28.

Image: Tuesday night's fire scene courtesy of a CWB Chicago reader
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19 comments:

  1. A judge will just turn them loose once caught. Under 18 won't be doing any time.

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  2. So scary -- I can't imagine the horror of living through a fire. If you hear anything about how to help the victims would you please post it?

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    1. We definitely will share any info that comes our way.

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  3. Heard on the news that one dog died and another seriously burned. So sad. Where the hell are these boys' parents? I'd say throw the book at them but we all know that when they're caught, they'll just be released with no punishment and will star all over again.

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    1. So sad about the poor dogs. Breaks my heart.

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    2. They are now reporting the second dog died.

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  4. I would hope that when the arsonists are captured they are covered in gasoline and set on fire.

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    1. i hope you never do anything wrong. Eye for an Eye is not justice.

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    2. Burn down a building, kill some animals and get a slap on the wrist...Chicago justice!

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    3. If it were your dogs you might be singing a different tune with the eye for an eye is not justice song. I'd like to see the community get the punks that did this. These people likely didn't have much but now it's all gone as well as their beloved dogs. If the system won't do anything, what can they expect people to do. Start charging the parents along with the juveniles. But that too will never happen. The victims are left to accept the system will do little to nothing or move the hell out of the city if they are able to do so.

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  5. *Emanuel housing protest: Housing activists sang songs and delivered petitions to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office Monday as part of their fight to keep a large concentration of affordable housing at the Chicago Housing Authority's Lathrop Homes.

    Several dozen protesters gave the petitions to a city staffer outside Emanuel's City Hall office, calling on the mayor to commit to preserve or replace all 925 units of affordable housing in the historic low-rise complex, which is tucked into an area near the Chicago River close to the tony Bucktown and Lake View neighborhoods and rapidly gentrifying parts of Logan Square and Avondale.

    Emanuel had no public events on his Monday schedule, and it was not clear whether he was in City Hall when the protesters were there.

    For over a decade, the CHA has been seeking to remake Lathrop Homes into a mixed-income community as part of its Plan for Transformation. Activists have been complaining for years that the project has stalled out, with much of the development sitting empty. And they worry lower income residents will be forced out of the neighborhood if plans go forward for a large number of market-rate residences at the site.

    "(Emanuel) is morally obligated to listen to the cries of the poor and provide for those who suffer and deliver them from the hand of the oppressor," Minister Bruce Ray said before handing over the petitions. (John Byrne)

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-bruce-rauner-lawmakers-budget-impasse-20151109-story.html

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  6. Latest CHA plans for Lathrop:

    http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2015/09/29/lathrop-pd.php#more

    The CHA property is largely within Alderman Joe Moreno's ward, but the neighbors are predominately within Alderman Scott Waguespack's.

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  7. I've never understood the current residential situation of Lathrop, so pitiful and abandoned looking. I used to live in this area and had more than a few run-ins with rude and disrespectful youth in nearby alleys while driving or taking out trash. I fear that even if caught, little punishment will occur for these minors.

    My heart goes out to the the victims for their loss of property and pets. Many of us know that dogs are part of the family. I'll hug mine a little more today. Please do share any information on how we can help.

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  8. I don't know the circumstances, but the only thing I would grab to leave is my dog.

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    1. Early evening fire. Probably not home yet. Look for someone older with a bigger agenda than kids.

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  9. I used to live here 3 years ago, crazy!! I feel terrible for Seamus, such a great and responsive landlord

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  10. Horrible death these innocent dogs suffered.

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    1. This makes me furious!!! Awful enough to have lost your home and all of your belongings, but to know that your beloved dogs were trapped and terrified and then burned alive to a crisp...simply heartbreaking! Whoever did this MUST be severely punished.

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  11. If it makes everyone feel a little bette,r Anderson Cooper is covering "Chiraq" http://www.cnn.com/shows/ac-360
    I am sure McNewark and Rahmbo will be made to look ineffective

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