While I was unloading my son from the car CBS Chicago approached me to discuss the serial arsonist in our area. The garage across from ours was a recent victim and remains boarded up as a constant reminder of its proximity to our bedrooms. The news crew was surveying the area with cameras in order to discuss this blossoming story on tonight's evening news. Depending on whether or not I looked like a bumbling idiot they may air my interview during which I held my son and discussed my worst fear re: arsonist; someone getting hurt.
Our alley in Lakeview was one of countless recent incidents in the Lakeview, Hamlin Park, Roscoe Village and West DePaul area. The incidents included garages (and possibly an apartment building as it took place in the at-risk area) being set on fire by someone believed to be a white male in his late 40’s-early 50’s, approximately 5’10,’’ with dark thinning hair. The most recent incident, unsure if it's another confirmed arson, hit the 1900 block of West Diversey. I drove past it this morning during our weekly Target run and witnessed that the entire building was a casualty. Great reminder that I'm not even safe in my own home.
As a parent, I knew I was going to be crippled by anxiety worrying about all the possible things that could happen to my son. I never thought worrying about a serial arsonist would be one of them! I mean seriously, what is hell is wrong with people?! We are constant threats to each other. It’s seriously fucked up that I have to go to sleep at night worrying whether or not we'd get our son out of the condo in time because some lunatic wanted an adrenaline rush and lit it on fire.
So there you have it folks, I need to add my son being burned alive to my list of fears as a parent. I hope that we catch this sick lunatic sooner rather than later. The price of these fires aren't just garages and thankfully evacuated apartments (except two dogs tragically killed). The added cost is piece of mind for everyone in these areas. The cost is crippling anxiety coupled with the humbling reality that we have very little control over our own endings. It's an unwelcome reminder that no matter what I do on a daily basis to protect my son it can be easily be mitigated by just one person with a desire to hurt people.
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