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Man in custody after allegedly starting fire at Thompson Center

The suspect lit “an unknown substance” on the glass of the building minutes before Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave his daily COVID-19 news conference.

An Illinois Department of Central Management Services spokesperson confirmed Saturday that two potential buyers have submitted their plans to acquire the Helmut Jahn-designed Thompson Center.
A man was arrested after a fire was started April 23, 2020, at the Thompson Center.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times file photo

A man is in custody after allegedly starting a fire at the Thompson Center minutes before Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave his daily COVID-19 news conference in the building.

The 44-year-old poured an “unknown substance” on the glass of a building about 2:15 p.m. in the 100 block of West Lake Street and lit it, Chicago police said.

A video shared on social media appears to show flames licking the outside of the Thompson Center. A couple of red-colored containers sit on the sidewalk.

The man was taken into custody in the 100 block of West Wacker Drive, police said. No injuries were reported.

Pritzker and state heath officials delivered their daily coronavirus news conference from the Thompson Center about 2:30 p.m.

Charges are pending as Area Central detectives investigate.

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