State Rep. La Shawn Ford’s cars, garage catch fire in possible arson; ‘I don’t think I was a target,’ he says

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS
·1 min read

Chicago police officers responded to a Monday night fire in state Rep. La Shawn Ford’s residence that damaged his garage and two cars, including a 1979 Chevrolet Corvette, according to a police report. No injuries were reported.

“I don’t think I was a target,” Ford told the Tribune Thursday. “It’s just another episode of violence and crime in Chicago, and I just happened to be a victim of it.”

The fire began near Ford’s garage in the 900 block of South Mayfield Avenue, damaging the two cars inside, and extended to a garage in the 900 block of South Mason Avenue around 10:45 p.m.

When officers arrived, they found a vehicle in the middle of an alley engulfed in flames. An Illinois license plate was found near the car, but officers couldn’t determine whether it belonged to the car because the vehicle was completely burned, according to a police report.

A witness told police her security camera caught footage of a person walking near the car in the alley when smoke started coming from the unknown vehicle. According to the witness, the person then ran north through the alley.

Ford told police he didn’t know the owner of the first vehicle that caught fire. His garage and two cars inside ― the Corvette and a black Ford ― had smoke and fire damage. A neighbor’s garage also was damaged in the fire.

According to the police report, arson specialists and Area 4 detectives are investigating.