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Arson Fire Sparks Memories Of Fatal Cicero Blaze

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CICERO, Ill. (CBS) – Officials in Cicero believe a fire, which seriously damaged one home and destroyed another, was intentionally set.

The fire started about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at a home at 5060 S. 30th St. in the near west suburb, according to Cicero town spokesman Ray Hanania.

According to the Cicero Fire Department, “It appeared from the evidence that somebody threw an incendiary device at the back of the house,” which ignited the stairwell, Hanania said.

The blaze brought to mind memories of an arson fire on Valentine’s Day that took the lives of seven people.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 14, a home at 3034 S. 48th Court in Cicero was destroyed and seven people — including a 3-day-old baby — were killed in an arson fire.

The residents of that home had no way out, Hanania said. And with four people living in the attic and six people in the two stories below at the home on 30th Street, this fire could have resulted in similar tragedy, he said.

“How they got out … they were lucky,” he said, and even more amazing, there were no reported injuries.

Police are looking for a suspect, but no additional information was available Tuesday afternoon.

The fire caused serious damage to the house at 5060 S. 30th and completely destroyed the house to the east, which was vacant, Hanania said.

It is not known how soon, if at all, the residents will be able to return home, he said. “I think it’s going to take a long time,” because of the extent of the damage.

He believes the residents were able to find someplace else to stay temporarily, but if they did not have a place to stay, the town would put them up in a motel for three or four days.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.