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Arsonist sets fire to Chicago neighborhood Halloween decorations

Arsonist sets fire to Chicago neighborhood Halloween decorations
Arsonist sets fire to Chicago neighborhood Halloween decorations 01:39

CHICAGO (CBS) – An arsonist is targeting homes with Halloween decorations in one North Side neighborhood.

Families, including five children, escaped the flames as they spread to their building overnight. CBS 2's Marybel Gonzalez spoke with residents who said the firestarter had struck more than once.

A Halloween nightmare came true.

"It's just appalling to see this in our neighborhood," said resident Brian Lindstrom.

Police said around 3:30 a.m. on Monday, someone walked up to a multi-unit home in the 3600 block of North Hoyne and started a fire. Police classified it as arson.

"The hay barrels obviously caught on fire and caught the back half of the front porchway," said the building's landlord, who didn't want to be identified due to concerns over their safety.

The landlord said the arsonist targeted the hay barrel decorations they had up for Halloween.

"It's very depressing," he said. "I don't understand why they do it."

The act left many in the neighborhood asking the same question.

"Why would you do something and jeopardize injuring or killing people?" said neighbor Al Victorine.

Neighbors said the situation was very scary because, at the time of the incident, there were five kids sleeping inside the home.

"Everybody understood the severity of when it happened, grabbed their families, and able to get out," said the landlord.

No one was injured, but two families were displaced. Police said a suspect was spotted in the neighborhood before the fire started but no arrests have been made.

Police added it's the only incident they're aware of but neighbors said other hay barrels in the area have also been set on fire.

"I just hope they catch the guy and put an end to it," said Victorine.

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