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Discarded Cigarette Sparked Huge Lakeview Fire, Investigators Rule

By Ariel Cheung | May 18, 2016 10:05pm
 Chicago firefighters spent more than an hour dousing the fire in the 3300 block of North Marshfield Avenue on Monday.
Chicago firefighters spent more than an hour dousing the fire in the 3300 block of North Marshfield Avenue on Monday.
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Provided/Chicago Fire Department

LAKEVIEW — A discarded cigarette butt sparked the huge two-alarm fire in Lakeview Monday that ravaged multiple buildings and displaced 30 residents, the Fire Department said Wednesday.

The cigarette was left on an enclosed back patio some time before the flames consumed 3338 N. Marshfield Ave. and spread to nearby buildings.

A Chicago Fire department spokesman said he didn't know whether the cigarette was discarded on the first or second floor of the two-story apartment building.

The large, smoky fire broke out north of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont avenues around 5 p.m. Monday, near Dinkel's Bakery and the Lake View YMCA.

One firefighter suffered a burned arm, but no residents were injured in the fire.

In the wake of the devastating loss for the Lakeview residents, friends and family launched GoFundMe campaigns to help replace belongings and find new homes.

While some campaigns — like those of Danny Burke and Nicole Pain — have raised thousands in a day, others are growing at slower rates.

"If you know Molly, you know that she dedicates her life's work to helping others, working at an immigrant youth justice center," Kelley Logan wrote of one of the residents. "She goes out of her way to help others any way she can."

Logan said her friend needed to move to a new apartment and was only able to salvage a few things. As of Wednesday evening, she'd raised $618.

Friends of Lauren Banister and Annie Brennan also are hoping to raise enough to replace the women's belonging. After one day, they've raised $970 of the $15,000 goal.

Burke's girlfriend posted an update Wednesday, saying the residents still hadn't returned to their apartments, but photos of the damage show "that essentially everything has been destroyed."

Chicago firefighters spent more than an hour dousing the fire in the 3300 block of North Marshfield Avenue on Monday. [Chicago Fire Department]

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