Two Bodies Found Inside Burning Van In Little Village

CHICAGO (CBS) — Firefighters found two bodies inside a burning minivan early Friday in the Little Village neighborhood.

Police and firefighters responded to the fire shortly before 12:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of South Harding Avenue.

The fire was so intense that two vehicles parked next to the maroon minivan were scorched and heavily damaged.

Michelle Montoya said the flames were more than 20 feet high at the fire’s peak.

“It was pretty high. I mean, it got all the way to the top of the store building. It was surprising. I thought it was going to burn down the store, too,” she said.

After firefighters put out the flames, they found two bodies inside the minivan.

Police Bomb and Arson Unit investigators confirmed they were conducting a death investigation, but were saying little else about the case.

So far, police have released no information on the identity, age, or gender of the bodies found inside.

Surveillance video shows the vehicle catching fire, but in the immediate minutes before the first sign of smoke, no people are seen on the video.

Community activist Andrew Holmes said some area residents believe the people who were found dead in the minivan were homeless.

Montoya said the minivan was often parked in the spot where it burned, and at times it appeared that people were living in it.

“Very scary feeling of how that person was in there, and it was just … it was very sad,” she said.

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