Lakeview: Overnight fire investigated in area hit by arson spree this autumn

Investigators believe the fire started on the second floor of a new Turkish restaurant that now occupies the space of Pera restaurant, 2833 North Broadway. | Google

Arson investigators continued to sift through the scene of an overnight fire in Lakeview as the sun came up Monday morning.

The blaze broke out near Broadway and Diversey, steps from where an arsonist started several dumpster fires in October an November. But, so far, this morning’s incident has not been declared arson.

Adding concern that the firebug may be back in action: Someone set a garbage can on fire in nearby Lincoln Park early Saturday morning.

Large fire

A passerby called 911 just after midnight Monday when they saw and smelled smoke coming from the roof of Farm & Sea Turkish Cuisine, 2833 North Broadway. After initial fire department units arrived, a supervisor ordered a “still and box” response to the blaze around 12:45 a.m. It was extinguished within 30 minutes.

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A preliminary investigation found the fire likely started on the second floor of the building, according to a CPD spokesperson. That area of the building includes apartment units, but it is not known if the fire started inside a unit or if the unit was occupied. No injuries were reported.

All of the recent arson fires in the area involved the intentional burning of dumpsters in alleys, so a structure fire would not fit the established pattern of the arsonist, who remains at large. At least four of the arson cases were within 200 yards of Monday’s fire — including one in an alley directly behind the building.

But on Saturday, the night before the restaurant fire, police canvassed the arson fire spree area in search of the arsonist after a garbage can was found burning in an alley on the 500 block of West Deming at 2:50 a.m. He was not found.

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