Fire Apparently Not Hate Crime

June 16, 2006

Chicago police say a fire set in a North Side library does not appear to be a hate crime.

A Chicago Public Library spokeswoman says the fire was set in a secluded corner at the John Merlo branch in Lakeview on Tuesday. About 100 books were damaged. The books were largely in the gay and lesbian section. Some were from the African-American collection.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says there's no information to classify this as a hate crime at this point.

The library spokeswoman says it was a small fire and library staff put it out.