[cifnmedia] High-Rise Fire Deaths Ruled Homicides

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 02:22:52 -0800 (PST)

High-Rise Fire Deaths Ruled Homicides
Police Have Yet To Rule Arson In Deadly Fire

POSTED: 5:35 p.m. CST January 21, 2004
UPDATED: 6:06 p.m. CST January 21, 2004

Story by nbc5.com 

CHICAGO -- The Cook County medical examiner ruled that the six deaths in the 
Oct. 17 fire at a Cook County-owned administration building were homicides, 
according to The Chicago Tribune's online edition. 

Criminal investigators have yet to determine if the high-rise fire at 69 W. 
Washington St. was an accident or arson. 

Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Edmund Donoghue said there was "no plausible 
reason" other than arson for the traces of gasoline that were found in the 12th 
floor storage closet where the fire started. 

"In this case, we think someone went into that room, spread gasoline and 
ignited it," the Tribune quoted Donoghue as saying. "This was not some kind of 
accident or bad housekeeping." 

Last month, the Chicago Fire Department's investigators ruled that the fire was 
"incendiary," or started by a person, and fueled by gasoline. 

Police told NBC5 that their definition of homicide is not necessarily the same 
one medical examiners use. At this point, there is no evidence that the fire 
was not an accident, police said. 

If police eventually determine the fire was an accident, Donoghue would be 
willing to review their evidence and perhaps reconsider his ruling, the Tribune 

Copyright 2004 by NBC5.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be 
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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