Fire investigators: Old Town stable fire suspicious

A fire in an Old Town stable that left several horse carriages damaged has been deemed suspicious by fire investigators, authorities said.

No horses were injured in the fire, which began around 9 p.m. Thursday in the Noble Horse stable, 1410 N. Orleans St., authorities said.

The Chicago Fire Department's Office of Fire Investigations has determined the fire was suspicious, and turned over its investigative findings to Police Bomb and Arson investigators, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

“About five carriages got burned up, but the horses are OK,’’ said Dan Sampson, who returned a message left at the Noble Horse carriage business.

Sampson said he was told the fire started on a carriages inside the brick building at 1408 Orleans St. The horses were not near where the fire started, Sampson said. Original word from Sampson that the fire might have been electrical in origin does not match with the evidence found by OFI investigators, Langford said.

Police have not yet determined if the fire was an arson, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada. No one is in custody in connection with the fire, he said.

Sampson, who is retired, said he is a volunteer for the Illinois Horse Park Foundation, which is affiliated with Noble Horse.

The building that houses the Noble Horse stable and Noble Horse Theatre was built as a stable and riding academy in 1871, and has been used for that purpose since, except between 1972 and 1983, when the building stood empty, according to the company's Web site.

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