Rogers Park man charged with setting fire to his apartment building

SHARE Rogers Park man charged with setting fire to his apartment building
SHARE Rogers Park man charged with setting fire to his apartment building

A Rogers Park man has been charged with aggravated arson, accused of setting fire to the apartment building where he lives as others in the 39-unit building slept Thursday morning.

Thomas Gatch, 52, was caught on surveillance video lighting a paper bag and leaving it in a stairwell between the second and third floors of the building in the 6800 block of North Ashland around 2:20 a.m. Thursday, Cook County prosecutors said Saturday.

Firefighters quickly put out the fire, and no one was injured. Sixty people live in the building.

Gatch, who was arrested at his third-floor apartment, was ordered held Saturday on $250,000 bail by Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesel, who called him “a threat to himself and others.”

“Many people were at risk,” she said.

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