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No Arson Fires This Weekend; Probe Continues

Officials plan to re-canvass the Hazelwood Drive neighborhood Monday in an attempt to find more evidence on who might have set five fires over the course of two weeks.

For the first time in three weeks, there were no fires on Hazelwood Drive this past weekend, Deputy Chief Jon Stratton said Sunday.

That's the good news. The bad is police and fire investigators have yet to make an arrest in the string of .

Officials plan to canvass the neighborhood again on Monday, Stratton said, reinterviewing some residents and continuing the search for clues to who might have set the blazes, which destroyed seven cars, badly damaged one house and severely damaged another, all in the 16700 block of Hazelwood.

Neighbors, in the meantime, are attempting to protect themselves. A fledgling neighborhood watch group met for the first time on Saturday, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune, and many residents reportedly stayed up late -- some outside -- on Saturday night to ensure they would not be caught off guard if the alleged arsonist or arsonists decided to strike again.

Neighbors are particularly tense not only because of the brazen nature of the attacks, some of which involved going into open garages and at least one of which occurred during the day, but because the town homes in which they live have a floor plan in which the bedrooms are located over the garages.

That said, investigators believe the fires have been more a crime of opportunity than a thought-out crime spree. In each case, the suspects hit vehicles that had been left unlocked and garage doors left open. Materials inside the vehicles were used to ignite the flames, some of which smoldered for some time before catching, officials have said.

Jak2132 January 16, 2012 at 02:47 PM
It seems the fires stopped when 202 started back at school. Probably a student???
T-Bone January 17, 2012 at 01:49 AM
My guess, it is more like the heat is on and that is why it stopped. Although it very well could be a 202 student, they would still live in the area. Maybe a college student that went back to school? If it is a student they will be bragging about it to someone because they think they are cool. Have your school kids keep there ears open!
Hugo January 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I gotta friend in the area. They all know exactly who it is, but there's no "proof" per se, and those who did it KNOW that everyone knows. I don't think there will be any more fires, nor do I think the person/people in question will be able to so much as sneeze without someone calling the cops.
CL January 30, 2012 at 07:00 AM
I just did a search on here for 'fire' and 'garage'. An awful lot of results other than just that one block, and dating further back than the supposed arsonist's time-frame. I hope the police are keeping an open mind about this and looking at all the other fires with this possibility in mind. Scary stuff.

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