Charges filed in Logan Square arson spree

Luis Ramirez (inset) and the aftermath of the garage fire. | CPD; CWBChicago

Arson charges have been filed in connection with a series of intentionally-set fires in Logan Square earlier this month. Prosecutors said police tracked the man down after detectives recognized the firebug in surveillance video.

Luis Ramirez, 54, is charged with five felony counts of arson causing damage.

Fire department and police personnel responded to a string of fires starting around 11 p.m. October 4 near the 2200 and 2300 blocks of North Rockwell and North Campbell. The streets share a common alley. 

The five counts against Ramirez stem from a single fire he allegedly set in the 2200 block of Rockwell that gutted a garage, damaged nearby buildings, and destroyed two cars.

Detectives who reviewed local surveillance camera footage recognized the arsonist from another incident in the same area over the summer, prosecutors said. The surveillance footage was also shared on a community website and CWBChicago.

In August, a man told police that someone he hired to do jobs tossed an “M-80 type device” into his front yard after the victim fired him and told him not to come back, prosecutors. No charges were ever filed, but police recognized the arsonist from a video of the M-80 cases, prosecutors said.

A damaged vehicle and the garage’s door sit across the alley from the primary fire scene. | CWBChicago

According to the state’s allegations, detectives spoke with the August victim who identified Ramirez in the arson video. When police located Ramirez on Thursday, he was wearing the same sunglasses, shoes, and backpack as the arsonist, prosecutors said.

Ramirez has two previous felony convictions and a pending domestic battery case, according to prosecutors. Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him held in lieu of $250,000 bail and said he must go onto electronic monitoring if he posts the mandatory 10% deposit bond.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com