Friday, June 22, 2018

Arson Suspected In Fire At Lakeview Walgreens

Arson is suspected in a Tuesday evening fire at Walgreens, 1001 West Belmont, police said.
Arson is suspected in a Tuesday evening fire that has temporarily shuttered a Lakeview Walgreens store, police said. Coincidentally, the fire was set 13 years to the day after a nearby Dominick’s grocery store was gutted by a non-criminal fire that started in a paper goods aisle.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a Walgreens employee dialed 911 and reported that a fire had broken out in the store. Neighbors said seeing smoke poured from the front and rear of the store. No one was injured.

Friday night, a police spokesman told CWBChicago that paper products were ignited in the store. The fire was “most likely” started by an unknown person who was seen loitering in front of the ignited paper, the spokesman said.

That suspect managed to escape before police arrived. Area North detectives are investigating the fire.

Inventory and ceiling tiles have been stripped away as workers prepare the store for re-opening.
Workers could be seen readying the store for re-opening on Friday night. All of the store’s inventory had been stripped from its shelves, and ceiling tiles were removed.

Walgreens did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the store’s re-opening schedule.

Firemen battle the 2005 Dominick's fire. | CarlosNewsNetwork
In a strange coincidence, the Walgreens fire was reported exactly 13 years and three hours after a paper goods fire quickly consumed a Lakeview grocery store near Boystown.

Around 5:30 p.m. on June 19, 2005, a non-arson fire in the paper goods aisle spread quickly and gutted the Dominick’s grocery store at 3012 North Broadway. Two people were injured and more than 150 firefighters fought the blaze, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Dominick’s building was razed, and its lot sat empty for a decade. The site is now occupied by a multi-level complex that is anchored by Mariano’s grocery store.

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