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Surveillance Video May Show Person Responsible For Wabash Avenue Fire

CHICAGO (CBS) --   A CBS 2 exclusive.

A man captured on camera, seconds before fire destroys a jewelry store. CBS 2 has an exclusive look at video that could show a fire bug.

It doesn't take long at all for smoke to fill this hallway of the Mallers Building on Jewelers Row. CBS 2's Jeremy Ross reports on what the video shows. As one store owner put it, the building has been through recessions, a pandemic and civil unrest and a fire isn't going to stop it now.

Surveillance video shows the smoke building inside the building. Outside, crews battled the heat and flames. Security manager Leonard Norah goes through the video. He showed where it began and who may be responsible.

"This is the perpetrator as he tries to enter the building," said Norah. "I have no doubt in my mind."

That video showed him entering the building around 2:15 Thursday morning, checking in with security.

"She asked the gentleman to sign in," Norah said. "It was a false name. He goes up to the 10th floor.

There are about 200 tenants in the building. Most are jewelers. The person stopping to open one business' door.

"We believe he might have had some set of keys," Norah said.

About four minutes after leaving, the hallway fills with smoke. First responders would follow. The smell of smoke fails to dull the shine of watches at Howard Frum's jewelry store. He's been here 42 years, adding that the shop has been though more than a possible arson nearby.

"Here we're all survivalists," Frum said. "We're not stopping now. We're just going to keep going."

The Chicago Fire Department said it handed over information to the Chicago Police Department and the ATF. No word if anyone is in custody.

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