Man Charged In Arson That Forced 2 From Boystown Home

Arson charges have been filed against a Lincoln Park man in connection with a fire that displaced two residents from their home in the 900 block of W. Belmont on Saturday afternoon.

Bobby Idaka, 54, has been charged with one count of residential arson for setting fire to a dumpster and furniture that was lying in an alley behind the Belmont Army retail store. The fire quickly spread to a nearby coach house. No one was injured, but two people who lived in the home were forced to find other housing. One of the victims relies on a wheelchair.

Idaka was arrested Sunday afternoon outside of the Elks Veterans Memorial at Diversey and Sheridan, police said. He has an extensive arrest record dating back to the early 1990’s. Idaka lists a church in the 600 block of W. Deming as his home.

It is the same church listed as “home” by Joshua Davis, a 31-year-old man charged with burglary after telling police that he “fell” into a Lakeview apartment last month upon seeing a $20 bill lying inside.

Idaka is due in bond court Tuesday afternoon.

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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