Flea market fire in West Humboldt Park ruled accidental, officials say

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A massive fire this month at a flea market in West Humboldt Park has been ruled accidental, fire officials said Thursday.

The Buyers Flea Market, located at 4545 West Division Ave., burned and smoldered for more than 24 hours, destroying a block-wide facility where vendors sold their wares on weekends.

An electrical issue may have been the cause, according to a statement from the Chicago Fire Department.

The origin of the fire was determined to be in the vendor's booths located in the south portion of the market, known as the outdoor section, CFD said.

"Arson was ruled out based on witness statements, computer reconstruction of the events and video footage from multiple security cameras, which were constantly recording almost every area of the facility," the CFD statement said.

CFD's Office of Fire Investigation (OFI) investigated the fire in partnership with the Chicago Police Department's Bomb and Arson Unit and the National Response Team (NRT) of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"The owner of the property has stated that he will rebuild the facility," CFD said.