LAST CALL: Former Wrigleyville Bartender Pleads Guilty To Arson, Burglary Charges

Grunauer (Cook Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Former Wrigleyville bartender Daniel Grunauer, investigators’ prime suspect in many of the arson fires that struck Wrigleyville and Boystown this summer, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted arson and burglary in connection with two Uptown incidents.

Grunauer received a 3 year sentence for trying to set an Uptown dumpster ablaze in August. He received another 5 years for breaking into an apartment building that was undergoing renovations on June 8. An arson fire swept through a section of the building that same day.

The two sentences are to be served concurrently.

A map showing some of the suspicious fires that hit our
neighborhood this summer. Grunauer worked at a bar
near Clark and Roscoe.

Police sources say Grunauer is the prime suspect in many of the alley arson fires that struck our neighborhood this summer. Many of the fires took place after bar closing time in the immediate vicinity of Grunauer’s workplace: Fiesta Cantina at Clark and Roscoe.

Grunauer is also suspected of setting fire to an occupied apartment complex directly behind his home this summer. A number of victims were displaced as a result of the overnight fire that one victim said “damn near killed me.”

As CWB reported exclusively in September, Grunauer was also on duty at an Oak Park gay bar  the night it burned down in an arson fire in 2012.

Not Alone

Investigators are certain that Grunauer is not solely responsible for the string of fires in Wrigleyville and Boystown.

He was in jail when several of the fires erupted—with two of the fire sprees happening within hours of Grunauer being arrested and charged in the cases for which he is now imprisoned.

No one else has been arrested in connection with the fires.

One More Thing Before You Go, Daniel

In addition to the arson and burglary sentences, the judge Thursday ordered Grunauer to serve a one year sentence for a 2012 aggravated DUI case. Grunauer was on probation for that incident at the time of his arrest in the fire cases.

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About CWBChicago 4274 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is