Fires in North Side dumpsters, garage ruled arson, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are trying to find out who set fire to some garbage dumpsters and a garage on the North Side Tuesday morning.

The fires all occurred between 2 and 3:40 a.m. in dumpsters in the 700-block of West Wrightwood Avenue, 600-block of West Diversey Parkway, 500-block of West Wellington Avenue and 2700-block of North Lehmann Court and a garage in the 700-block of West Schubert Avenue.

Police said the fires have been determined to be arson.

In grainy surveillance video from a nearby homeowner, a man in a white cap is seen walking by the garage minutes before it caught fire. The piece of video may be a clue in finding who is behind the string of fires.

"We woke up to the sound of the fire department, knocking our garage windows in and came out and saw a lot of smoke coming out the roof of the building," said Kyle Baltes, who owns one of the nine vehicles in the garage that caught fire.

He said thankfully the damage was centralized to the garage doors and roofs

"Had the woman in this building not called the fire department, saw the smoke around 2 a.m., it could have been a lot worse, so we're feeling frankly lucky," Baltes said.

On Schubert Avenue, firefighters had to tear into the roof of the garage to keep the flames from spreading

"There's a couple of cars that look like they might have gotten some water damage or even fire damage it's pretty bad," said Scott Lundgren, who lives across the street.

Lundgren said just years ago, his car suffered fire damage in the same location

"I think this is the worse incident, but I did have a vehicle damaged once before from a fire actually set right here," he said.

No injuries were reported and no one is in custody.
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