Arson investigators probing Lincoln Park apartment fire

A Lincoln Park man who jumped from his burning seventh-floor apartment on Monday afternoon died from injuries he suffered in the fall, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. The office ruled Demarlo Branch’s death a suicide.

Fire and police units responded to calls of a fire and a man down in the 400 block of West Wrightwood around 4:45 p.m. CPD officers arrived first and found Branch, age 31, lying in an alley. Cops entered the building and started to evacuate residents before conditions forced them to retreat.

Fire department personnel at the scene of an apartment fire on the 400 block of West Wrightwood on October 4, 2021. | Provided

A tweet on the fire department’s media relations account said the fire was caused by a “pot of meat,” but police later said investigators were treating it as arson.

No other injuries were reported in the fire, but four officers who entered the building to evacuate residents were checked out by medical personnel as a precaution, according to a CPD supervisor at the scene.

If you’re having thoughts of suicide there’s help available at 800-273-TALK.