Arsonist in custody after setting blaze outside Thompson Center

An arsonist ignited a flammable liquid along the exterior of the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop on Thursday afternoon, police said. A suspect is in custody.

The man poured a combustible liquid along the state office building’s north wall and set the accelerant on fire around 2:15 p.m., according to police. Illinois State Troopers pursued the arsonist and took him into custody near Clark Street and Wacker Drive a few minutes later.

Charges are pending against the 44-year-old, police said.

Video shared on social media shows at least two gasoline canisters on the Lake Street sidewalk with a ribbon of flame stretched along the Thompson Center wall. Law enforcement officers quickly extinguished the fire.

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