LION Newspaper

Arson reported in Western Springs

Arsons occur in Forest Hills neighborhood

Sydney Hansen, News Editor

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A vacant house on the 4900 block of Woodland Ave. was reported to be on fire on the night of March 29. Less than 24 hours later, a second fire at another vacant home, two doors down from the fire the night before, was reported on the 4900 block of Woodland Ave., according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Having two fires within 24 hours of each other was suspicious in nature,” Western Springs Police detective Sgt. Dan Albrecht said. “Arson investigators from the Fire Marshal’s office responded, investigated and determined the incidents to be arson.”

A similar incident occurred on March 7, when the house involved in the March 29 fire caught on fire for the first time. That fire was determined to be suspicious in nature, and it is now being investigated as a possible arson after the second fire occurred on March 29, Albrecht said.

“The recent [arsons] have been kind of concerning, but that doesn’t make me worried or feel like [Western Springs] is unsafe,” Maeve Swinehart ‘17 said. “Western Springs feels safe to me, but I still keep my eyes out for anything unusual, lock my car and always keep track of my belongings.”

In 2012, two arsons occurred in Western Springs; in 2016, there was one arson.

“Crimes involving fire are often difficult to investigate due to the damage that the fire actually causes,” Albrecht said. “Not only does the fire destroy evidence, [but] the Fire Department, when performing their duties, disrupts the original scene.”

Both cases are actively being investigated with help from arson investigators from local fire departments, Albrecht said.

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” Carol Christian, who lives across the street from the two houses, said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “You have to figure someone is setting these fires.”


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Arson reported in Western Springs