Man charged with setting fire to business at Loop high-rise on Jeweler's Row

Sunday, November 15, 2020
Man charged with setting fire at Loop high-rise on Jeweler's Row
A high-rise fire in Chicago's Loop drew a large emergency response early Thursday morning.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 23-year-old man allegedly turned himself in to police after setting fire to a business Thursday in a high-rise on Jeweler's Row in the Loop.

Daniel Nieves, 23, was charged with one felony count of aggravated arson, Chicago police said.

WATCH: Chicago fire officials give latest on high-rise blaze

Chicago fire officials gave the latest on a Loop high-rise fire Thursday morning.

Nieves allegedly started a fire at the business in a 22-story commercial building at Wabash and Madison, in Jewelers Row about 3:50 a.m., police said. He walked into the 25th District police station, 5555 W. Grand Ave., later that afternoon to turn himself in, according to police.

The high-rise is known as the Mallers Building, located at 5 S. Wabash, and it houses numerous jewelry stores.

The fire broke out on the 10th floor. No one was found inside, as firefighters searched the building.

The blaze was raised to three alarms, meaning more equipment was brought in to put it out. Flames were visible from the street level at one point.

By 5:30 a.m., the fire had been extinguished.

Two firefighters were overcome by heat and were being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but no other injuries were reported later Thursday morning, Chicago fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford said.

He said the fire was difficult to put out because of its location in the high-rise building. There were about 200 firefighters on the scene, Ford said.

"My shop looks OK," jeweler Ilya Kunin said. "I checked the cameras. Thank god it looks to be under control."

Jewelers hoping to get inside said the building was in the process of installing sprinklers.

Two firefighters were injured and others had to be rescued from the same high-rise during an overnight fire in April of 2018. That previous fire forced jewelers out of the building for an extended period of time.

"We just can't catch a break. I just can't catch a break with this," Kunin said.

Nieves appeared in bond court Saturday, according to Cook County court records. Details about his bail were not immediately known.

Nieves is due back in court Nov. 19.

The Sun-Time Media report contributed to this article.