Fire Bombs

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

For the eighth time this year, Rockford Police and Fire Departments are investigating a suspicious fire. The question is whether this weekend's fire bomb is random or gang related.

Gasoline fire bombs strike again. Early Sunday morning a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the living room window of a house on Illinois Avenue in Rockford. Two adults and one child woke up to breaking glass and quickly evacuated.

Rockford Fire Prevention Division Chief Frank Schmitt says, “The residents are lucky to of heard the glass shatter." He says this could have been fatal.

So far this year Rockford has had eight fire bomb attacks. This recent firebombing takes third place in terms of the amount of damage caused. Rockford Fire Department rates the fire bomb on North Rockton Avenue back in February as the second most damaging incident.

A similar scenario at that scene where a fire bomb was thrown into the front window of a two story home. Fifty-four-year-old Antolin Garcia and 23-year-old Carlos Medrano where both sent to the hospital with burns to their face, hands and feet, but the south Chicago incident back in may has so far caused the most destruction.

Schmitt says, "In such a short time, yes, we do have a high number. We normally have a few, but this is an accelerated number this year."

In the beginning the bombings were gang related. .it seems that is still the case.

"Generally there is more than one incident that's connected. This isn't off the cuff. Generally it's retaliation," says Schmitt.

Arrests have been made in the past and more may be made in the future. If not, the fear is that the wrong house may be hit and an innocent person with no gang ties is injured.


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