Toaster oven likely caused apartment fire

A fire that damaged a two-unit building in the 200 block of Circle Avenue on the afternoon of Oct. 8 likely was started by a toaster oven inside a pantry in the second-floor unit, according to emergency officials.

Firefighters responded to 213 Circle Ave. about 4:55 p.m. and observed smoke engulfing the back porch of the second floor. An elderly woman who lived in the second-floor unit exited through the front door and firefighters were able to extinguish the flames. The first-floor tenant was not home at the time of the fire, according to police.

According to the police report, the second-floor tenant may have tried to push an object, possibly the toaster oven, out the door after it caught fire, but that it went “whoosh,” indicating the fire grew out of control. 


A resident of the 800 block of Hannah Avenue called police on Oct. 7 to report her home had been burglarized between 6 and 8 p.m. Entry appeared to be through a cut screen on the south side of the home. 

Several rooms were ransacked and several items taken, including three guitars, jewelry, an Xbox game system and a laptop computer.

Police responded to a residence in the 1000 block of Troost Avenue on Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. after a resident called to report that someone broke into her home between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

According to police, the homeowner said the doors to the residence had been left unlocked and entry was gained through a sliding patio door. An upstairs bedroom appeared to be ransacked. A child’s book bag had been emptied onto the floor and the book bag was missing, as were electronics, jewelry and other personal items. 

Police also recovered a large glass jar and coins spilled all over the curb outside the residence. The jar had been taken from an office inside the home.

A supervisor at McAdam Landscaping, 2001 Desplaines Ave., called police on the afternoon of Oct. 10 to report that one of the business’ trailers had been broken into. Several items were taken.

The trailer hadn’t been used for four days, and it appeared the lock had been cut to gain entry. Among the missing items were a Stihl line trimmer, a Redmax line trimmer, a Stihl hedge trimmer and a Redmax backpack leaf blower. 

The loss was estimated at more than $1,500.

Two Chicago men, ages 18 and 23, were arrested by River Forest police on Oct. 8 about 4:15 a.m. at the intersection of Lake and Forest avenues after officers found documents and items on the two tying them to a vehicle break-in in the 7700 block of Adams Street in Forest Park.

Police found two vehicles on that block which had been ransacked; neither was locked. Some of the proceeds on the two men were also tied to a garage burglary in River Forest, according to police.

Unwanted advance

Forest Park police charged a 26-year-old Chicago man with battery after he allegedly snuck up behind a 19-year-old Forest Park woman while she was walking eastbound on Madison Street at Ferdinand Avenue, grabbed her by the hips and thrust his pelvis into her buttocks.

The man ran away through the McDonald’s parking lot, through the restaurant and then southbound on Desplaines Avenue. Police located him on the CTA Blue Line platform at 711 Desplaines Ave. and arrested him.

Criminal trespassing

A 35-year-old Bensenville man faces criminal trespassing charges after he was found sleeping inside a stolen vehicle in the 900 block of Circle Avenue on Oct. 14 about 9:05 a.m., police reported.

The 2002 Ford Explorer had been reported stolen out of Chicago on Oct. 1 and the rear license plate had been changed, police said. The man in the vehicle said he’d gotten a ride to the block, where a friend lived. However, the friend wasn’t home, the man reportedly told them, so he got in the car to stay out of the rain.

Disorderly conduct

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office declined to charge a 67-year-old Chicago man with attempted robbery, settling for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, after he reportedly ordered a 52-year-old woman who was walking in the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue on Oct. 15 about 6:30 p.m. to “Give me all your money!”

The woman reportedly responded by telling the man to leave her alone, and he eventually turned around and walked away. Police stopped him on Roosevelt Road, where he was walking westbound. According to police, the man appeared to be mentally unstable. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Oct. 7-15, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

Compiled by Bob Uphues