Chicago firefighters battle 2 Back of the Yards fires, with apartment blaze investigated as arson

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A fire forced people from their apartment Sunday night in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood, and police have called it arson.

Chicago firefighters also responded to another fire in the same neighborhood.

Just before 9 p.m., a fire broke out at 45th and Wood streets and police said they responded to a home which is split into apartments where two people were displaced.

"I saw a mom and her daughter," Back of the Yards resident Jasmine Mayfield said. "They were living there, so I'm not sure who was staying upstairs but for downstairs, I know for sure they got out."

Police said it was later determined that an accelerant was used to start the fire and it's being investigated as arson. No one was taken into custody.

"That's messed up," Beatriz Reilly, Back of the Yards resident, said. "I can't believe somebody would actually do something like that."

"I have no idea who would even target that building right there or anything like that because there's nothing really going on over there," Mayfield said.

About 45 minutes later, firefighters had to battle another extra-alarm fire near 43rd and Honore streets, just blocks from the other fire.

Maria Diaz thought she heard shots at first, then she saw flames four houses down.

"Well I heard a bunch of gunshots but it was like an explosion, but I thought it was gunshots, but you don't know in this neighborhood," Diaz said.

Four homes burned and 15 people were displaced with no reported injuries.

A more devastating view of the charred homes could be seen from the backyards.

Diaz said she thinks the fires in two separate locations around the same time Sunday night seems too suspicious.

"Something related," she said. "That's what I think but I'm not sure ,you know I could say a lot of things, but I'm not sure."

CFD said they are considering everything when it comes to the causes and origins of both fires and are also looking into possible links.

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