Chicago, IL Incendiary Fires, Apr 1902

FIRE AND PANIC IN CHICAGO

Conflagrations Consecutively in Ten Separate Districts Search for Incendiaries

CHICAGO, April 12 — After extinguishing ten fires yesterday, most of them close together and apparently of incendiary origin, the firemen of South Chicago at daybreak to-day. were called upon to contend with the most serious of the long string of blazes. The first of this morning's fires consumed a barn containing several horses.

St. Patrick's Church came next and was destroyed before the firemen could reach it. Scarcely had they reached the church when they were called to fight a dangerous-looking fire at Willard Sons & Bell Forge Works. After a hard fight here the flames were checked.

Meanwhile the warehouse of the Washington Ice Company had caught fire, and before the flames were subdued $5,000 damage had been done. The Calumet Theatre came next, sustaining $10,000 damage before the fire was extinguished. A four story structure Raving a feed store on the ground floor and dwelling above was discovered to be burning before the theatre fire was put out.

Two families escaped-in their night clothes. The building was destroyed. Meanwhile, Nicholas Scroder's saloon had burned down.

The total loss of this morning's fires is put at $50,000. As the buildings were not near each other, the firemen declare that the fires were the work of an incendiary.

A demented boy, supposed to be a pyromaniac, is said by several residents to have been seen at all the fires. He is about seventeen years of age and wears a red sweater and a derby hat. The police are looking for him.