Arson suspected in Rogers Park fire that injured 7 firefighters

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Fire investigators found what appeared to be accelerant in a building stairway, said Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward). (WLS)

An arsonist may have set the extra-alarm fire at a Rogers Park apartment that injured seven firefighters.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward) said Tuesday that fire investigators found what appeared to be accelerant in a building stairway.

"They have taken the material into the lab for testing but they strongly suspect that it was deliberately set and the police department is now investigating it," Moore said.

Results could take a few weeks.

The fire broke out around 6 a.m. Monday in the 700-block of West Estes Avenue on the city's North Side. Most of the firefighters' injuries were ice related.

Sixteen units were damaged. Seven units have been deemed uninhabitable, displacing seven families.

All of the residents escaped without injury, but several lost their belongings.

Residents are stunned that the fire could have been an arson.

"We are really shocking. How could this be possible?" said Abdullah Salim, whose apartment was damaged.

Moore said many of the residents were refugees.

"I know many of them went through hell in their country's of origin coming here to our country for a better life and have this happen to them is quite tragic."
He is trying to help the displaced residents.

"Arson is a very serious crime," said Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward). "I'm hoping the police department can find out who set the fire and bring them to justice."

Residents are stunned that this fire could be ruled arson.

"I am primarily concerned that if the arsonist is out and about that they have finished their vendetta," said Kosta Kezios, who lives in Rogers Park.
Related Topics:
newsbuilding fireapartment fireChicago - Rogers Park
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