A serial arsonist was caught on camera as he set one of several suspicious fires in the Bucktown neighborhood on Sunday evening. Now, neighbors are wondering if the man has struck before.
Emergency personnel responded to intentionally-set fires in the 1900 block of North Honore, the 1800 block of North Damen, the 1700 block of North Milwaukee, the 1700 block of West Pierce, and the 1800 block of North Milwaukee between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., according to dispatch records.
Surveillance video shared on YouTube shows a man stepping behind a dumpster on the 1800 block of North Milwaukee and then emerging as flames begin to build. He grabs a bag of trash and appears to toss it onto the fire before walking away. The footage shows a woman discovering the fire and neighbors working together to pull the dumpster away from a nearby building and extinguish the flames.
Another video shared directly with CWBChicago shows the suspect walking away from the scene. He has a distinctive walk and appears to be White, Asian, or Hispanic, and middle-aged.
A local resident who asked to remain anonymous said a similar fire broke out in the area last month. Police records confirm that CPD arson detectives are investigating a residential fire that was reported on the 2400 block of West Homer at 5 a.m. on July 30.
According to surveillance images provided to CWBChicago, the July arsonist wore a dark hoodie that obscures his appearance. But, his legs, which are visible because he was wearing shorts, appear to be light in color.
Detectives are investigating all of the reported fires.