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Cops: Hegewisch

garage fires  

deemed arson

CHICAGO — A fire that consumed several garages early Monday in the city's Hegewisch neighborhood is being investigated as an arson, police said.

The blaze, which police and firefighters responded to a little after midnight in the 13500 block of South Buffalo Avenue, follows another suspected arson Saturday that occurred two blocks away, The Times partner NBC 5 Chicago reported.

Firefighters were dispatched about 12:05 a.m. Monday to find a garage in the area had caught fire. Radiant heat exposure spread to three garages across the alley, NBC 5 reported.

There were no reported injuries or displacements, police said.

Authorities still are investigating the fire's cause.

On Saturday, several bins were set on fire, causing flames to spread to three nearby garages. Chicago police determined the fire to be an arson, NBC 5 reported.

Officials declare

Miller wildfire


GARY — The Miller 3 wildfire in the Miller Woods section of the Indiana Dunes National Park was declared "controlled" on Monday, and trails in the area are expected to reopen this week, a National Parks spokesman said.

Fire Information Officer Micah Bell said the Miller 3 wildfire, which started on Friday and covered about 425 acres, was considered to be "controlled" by 10 a.m. Monday. That means no open flames were visible.

Bell said parks workers will continue to check the area in the next few days to make sure the fire doesn't restart. He said trails in the area, including the Paul Douglas Trail to Lake Michigan, likely will reopen this week.

The Miller 3 wildfire caused no damage to private property and was kept away from Lakeshore Dunes Apartments and other residential buildings along North Lake Street thanks to the Miller 1 prescribed fire staged on March 22, the parks service said.

The Tolleston Dunes Trail has been reopened after workers successfully conducted a prescribed fire in the Tolleston East area on Friday.

Another prescribed burn was completed Monday of about 239 acres of the Mnoke Prairie in Porter, on the west end of Beam Street and around the Dunes Learning Center.

In a news release, the National Parks Service said, "For the last 20 years fire has been used as a primary tool (in) the restoration of this rare tallgrass prairie in Northwest Indiana."

— Mike Clark, The Times


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