8th arson fire set in Lakeview overnight

Approximate locations of arson fires set on Saturday (blue); Wednesday (black) and on Oct. 15 (red).

An arsonist set fire to another dumpster in Lakeview early Saturday. It is the second intentionally-set fire within a city block this week and it’s at least the eighth incident since a six-fire spree in the area on Oct. 15. The offender remains at large.

Saturday’s fire singed the rear door of a business near Clark and Diversey | Provided

Around 5:25 a.m., police and firemen responded in an alley that runs between a Clark Street nail salon and Walmart Neighborhood Market, 2844 North Broadway. 

The fire singed the rear door of a Clark Street business, but no significant damage was apparent.

Saturday’s fire broke out near the scene of an intentionally set fire that was discovered around 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday. In that case, surveillance video showed the arsonist pouring a liquid into a dumpster behind the 600 block of West Diversey and setting it on fire.

This fire on Oct. 15 began burning a nearby wooden deck before firefighters arrived. | Provided

This week’s fires were intentionally set in the same area where an arsonist deliberately set six dumpsters ablaze on Oct. 15.

One of those fires spread to a nine-car garage on the 700 block of West Schubert. Another fire scorched the wooden rear deck of an apartment building on the 600 block of West Wellington, but firefighters extinguished the blaze before it could cause significant damage.

Offender description

Investigators have at least two surveillance videos that show the arsonist setting fires, but police have not released any of those images to the public.

On Wednesday, the offender wore a gray hoodie that has a black waistband and a white logo in the middle.

Video taken on Oct. 15 showed the arsonist to be 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.


Chicago police arson investigators issued a community alert after the mid-October fires. In it, detectives advised residents to secure city garbage cans and to keep large or bulky items such as boxes and furniture indoors until pick-up day.

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During previous arson sprees, police have recommended locking the lids on dumpsters and trash bins. They also suggested keeping trash bins inside garages or basements until pick-up day. 

Intentionally-set rubbish fires have caused significant damage in the past after spreading to coach houses, garages, and wooden decks.

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