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Suspect Tells Police He Set Fires Due To Stress (Chicago Fire Dept. Lieutenant an Arsonist)
NBC 5 Chicago ^ | February 10, 2005 | Anita Padilla

Posted on 02/10/2005 7:57:47 PM PST by Land_of_Lincoln_John

Jeffrey Boyle, 46, remained in police custody Thursday, charged with four felony counts of arson in connection with four Northwest Side fires. Boyle was a 25-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department, NBC5's Anita Padilla reported. He is due in bond court Friday.

The lieutenant, whose address was listed as being in the 7000 block of North Ozark Avenue, was charged with setting fire to the Immaculate Conception School, at 7263 W. Talcott Ave., early Monday, Greer said. He was also charged for fires set at 6262 N. Harlem Ave., 5801 N. Natoma Ave., and 7229 W. Palatine Ave., said a police spokeswoman.

"He would just drive around at times he wasn't feeling right," said Lt. Wayne Micek, of the police Bomb and Arson Squad. "All of the sudden, something would trigger -- an unknown emotion would trigger him that he would want to go set a fire. He wasn't specific -- he said he was just stupid, he did stupid things at different times in his life when he was under stress and he would drive around and he really couldn't give one solid explanation as to why he would do this."

Park Ridge and Chicago police were working together on Thursday to investigate other arson fires with which Boyle may have been involved. Boyle worked as a "floater" for the Chicago Fire Department, not assigned to a particular fire house.

"These charges are very serious, especially for a person who swore to protect the citizens of our city," said Chicago Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter.

Boyle is suspected in about 10 arson fires in Park Ridge between 1998 and 2001, according to Park Ridge Police Chief Jeff Caudill. Park Ridge officials said Boyle probably used a lighter and available materials to set the fires in the suburb. Boyle is also suspected in more than three dozen unsolved arson cases under review. He allegedly set a fire at the Park Ridge Country Club at 636 N Prospect Ave. in January of 1999 that caused $100,000 in damage.

Tutman said that the Boyle name was familiar to Chicagoans in the wake of the ongoing hired truck scandal. Jeffery Boyle's brother, John Boyle, faces charges related to the investigation of the Hired Truck Program. Lt. Boyle reportedly told authorities that the stress from his brother's case added to his desire to set fires.

The Chicago Fire Department said that Boyle never sought help from the employee assistance program, Padilla reported.

Tutman reported Thursday morning that a fire at a hot dog shop may have been the event that lead to Boyle's arrest. Surveillance video allegedly captured a man fitting his discription in two of the locations where fires were apparently started, one being Brandy's Restaurant.

The fires occurred in dumpsters, detached garages, and newly built homes in Park Ridge, Caudill said. No one was injured in any of the fires, he said.

The fire Monday at the Immaculate Conception School, at the Talcott Avenue address, destroyed a computer lab, according to Susan Burritt, Director of School Marketing for the Chicago Archdiocese. The school had been set to reopen Wednesday.

Firefighters arrived at the school early Monday and saw that a fire had been set in a garbage can in back of the school, police News Affairs Officer Patrice Harper said Monday. The fire spread to the roof, igniting the wooden eaves and shingles, Harper said. The fire at the school was "similar in nature" to and "a suspicious coincidence" with the Harlem and Natoma avenue fires, police News Affairs Sgt. Robert Cargie said Tuesday. Cargie could not elaborate further.

The fire at the Harlem Avenue address set ablaze two garbage dumpsters in the parking lot outside Brandy's restaurant at 1:38 a.m. Monday, Harper said after the fire. A light fixture was damaged, she said.

A man reached there who declined to provide his name said Monday that a video camera caught two men in their 40s setting the fires in the garbage cans.

At 2:10 a.m. that same day, vandals broke windows and set curtains on fire at a field house at the Natoma Avenue address, Harper said.

An attendant reached at the Norwood Park field house, located at the address, said that the fire was in the building's clubroom. Damage to the room was "bad enough" and would require repairs, said the man, who declined to give his name or provide further information.

A garage was set on fire at 7229 W. Palatine Ave. on Sunday, said Langford, who had no further details of the fire.

In light of the charges, Boyle has been placed on paid administrative leave, Trotter said at the news conference.

Trotter said the city should not look at Boyle as a representative of the Chicago Fire Department, but instead to the personnel who battled an extra-alarm blaze Wednesday night at 7447 S. South Shore Dr.

"Those are the representatives from the fire department. Not somebody who does something like this," Trotter said of Boyle.

"I am extremely troubled and saddened that a member of the Chicago Fired Department who has sworn to protect out citizens ... could be guilty of starting fires," Trotter said.

Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 President James McNally said, "We're shocked but everyone has their day in court. These are only charges and we have to treat them as such."

McNally, in a telephone interview Thursday morning said, "If there's an incident that would bring these charges on, then we take these things very seriously." The union includes firefighters through battalion chiefs, he said.

"They're all part of local 2," McNally said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: arson; hiredtruckscandal; johnquartersboyle
An abbreviated version of this story was posterd this morning. The key development this afternoon is that Boyle is the brother of notorious convicted thief (but still on the payroll of the City of Chicago), John "Quarters" Boyle.

More on "Quarters" here.

1 posted on 02/10/2005 7:57:48 PM PST by Land_of_Lincoln_John
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse.

2 posted on 02/10/2005 8:04:08 PM PST by clee1 (Islam is a deadly plague; liberalism is the AIDS virus that prevents us from defending ourselves.)
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Holy smoke. Guess he thought no one could be a match for him, and now he'll be fired.

3 posted on 02/10/2005 8:11:09 PM PST by speedy
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To: speedy
But the accused arsonist is on paid administrative leave until then. Thank God for unions.
4 posted on 02/10/2005 8:18:58 PM PST by Land_of_Lincoln_John
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Backdraft comes to life.

5 posted on 02/10/2005 8:20:23 PM PST by Pylon (The Pylon cam was my idea.)
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Seems that he misinterpreted his job as a fireman:

He thought the job was to set the world on fire.

6 posted on 02/10/2005 8:21:39 PM PST by punster
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Hey, like all Democrats, he's only reacting to the stress. That's certainly a reason to burn strangers to death... He's a victim...

7 posted on 02/10/2005 8:24:18 PM PST by jonascord (What is better than the wind at 6 O'Clock on the 600 yard line?)
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Mrs. Tenger says they showed the firehouse that he worked from about a block from the Tenger apartment building...way too close to home for me

8 posted on 02/10/2005 8:26:02 PM PST by tenger
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Yes. Gives him a chance to get a few more fires out of his system.

9 posted on 02/10/2005 8:27:40 PM PST by speedy
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

What a freak! He's probably been doing this for most of his adult life. Thank God he's been caught.

Anyone who could set fire to a school in Chicago, after the Lady of the Angels tragedy in the 50's, is sheer evil.

10 posted on 02/10/2005 8:44:46 PM PST by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: speedy

Good one....

11 posted on 02/10/2005 8:47:04 PM PST by Cold Heat (What are fears but voices awry?Whispering harm where harm is not and deluding the unwary. Wordsworth)
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To: Cold Heat

Sorry. The story was just goofy enough that the wick-ed puns began to flow.

12 posted on 02/10/2005 8:49:11 PM PST by speedy
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John
Sure, that's how I respond to stress, too: I get a little stressed, I set a few fires, kill some people, generate millions of dollars' worth of damage, and it brightens my mood every time. Don't we all react to stress like that?

Sheesh! I hope they put him away for a very long time. Arson is heinous.

13 posted on 02/10/2005 8:50:34 PM PST by Capriole (the Luddite hypocritically clicking away on her computer)
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To: Capriole

In the Tribune today, it says Boyle's most recent arson attacks were triggered because he lost money on the Super Bowl. Whatta creep.

14 posted on 02/11/2005 5:44:26 AM PST by Land_of_Lincoln_John
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