Chicago police initiated an arson investigation on Sunday after a fire broke out at the historic Swift Mansion in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, a more-than-century-old building in the South Side community.
Fire officials said they were called to a blaze at the home in the 4500 block of South Michigan late Sunday morning. The three-story structure initially caught fire at around 11:30 a.m., and crews were able to extinguish the fire within a few hours.
At around 2:30 p.m., the fire rekindled, causing flames to be visible through the roof. While no injuries were reported in the fire, it’s unclear what contents were lost.
“We won’t know until later, the memorabilia and historical information that was contained within that we may never be able to recapture,” said 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell, who represents the community.
The house appeared to be undergoing renovations when the fire erupted, according to officials. Built in 1892, Swift Mansion once served as a funeral home and later the headquarters of the Chicago Urban League.
In 1978, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The building has served as a place where men who were released from prison can receive social services as well as a workforce training center.