Wind-fueled blaze in Old Town may have started in alley garbage can, cops say

Approximate location of this morning’s fire origin. | Multiplottr

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Chicago police are investigating a wind-whipped fire in the Old Town neighborhood that may have started in an alley garbage can overnight, according to new information from CPD’s office of news affairs.

Patrol officers discovered a utility pole on fire in the 1500 block of North Hudson at 2:25 a.m. and immediately began evacuating nearby homes.

High winds spread the fire to a nearby home as well as parked cars across the alley behind the 1500 block of North Sedgwick. Embers from the fire also spread to the wooden porch of a third home nearby.

No injuries are reported. The police department said no one had been displaced, but the Red Cross in Chicago said two families were being relocated due to fire damage.

CPD initially said the fire started in an electrical transformer. Investigators later updated that information, saying that the blaze may have started in an alley trash can.

Police have not yet classified the fire as arson.

This morning’s blaze was reported exactly one week after an arsonist set a series of dumpster fires on the north end of Lincoln Park and nearby Lakeview.  One of those fires charred an adjacent wooden deck.

Arson investigators have not announced any progress in their search for the man who set last week’s fires. He is described as a slender man of unknown race who stands 5’5” to 5’9” tall. He wore a white or tan baseball hat with a dark jacket or coat.