Fire at Onahan reported
Update: The March 5 fire at Onahan School is being reclassified from arson to an accidental fire after the Chicago Fire Department’s Office of Fire Investigation initially reported to police that it suspected the fire had been intentionally set, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police.
The Chicago Police Department’s Bomb and Arson Unit has investigated the fire and decided to reclassify the fire as non-criminal based on its investigation, a district spokesman said on March 20. According to the Chicago Fire Department Office of Media Affairs, the fire was started due to an open flame near a piano in the auditorium.
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI and SEAN KEENEHAN
The fire at Onahan School, 6634 W. Raven St., at about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, is reportedly due to arson, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police.
Officers responded to a call of a fire at the school and saw dark smoke rising from a window on the west side of the building in the auditorium, according to police. After the fire was extinguished, firefighters conducted a safety inspection to confirm that there was no longer any staff, teachers or students inside the school, police said.
Some classes were held at Taft High School during the clean up from smoke damage following the fire and they resumed Monday, March 11, according to the school.
The Office of Fire Investigation reported that a box of clothing was discovered near a piano inside the school auditorium that had allegedly been used to start the fire, and that the fire was started intentionally, according to police.
A school employee reported that she saw flames rising from the auditorium and then made an announcement of a fire inside the building and that everyone should evacuate, police said. A witness who was involved in an after school program reported that she smelled smoke, heard the announcement and evacuated her small group of students to safety, according to police.
No injuries were reported at the time of the fire, police said.