Cops: Man charged with arson after setting store, himself on fire

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Alejandro Lozano | Chicago Police photo

A man was charged with arson after police say he set himself and a store on fire in the Pilsen neighborhood during the Mole de Mayo festival Sunday night.

Alejandro Lozano, 33, was charged with one felony count of aggravated arson, according to a statement from Chicago Police. Lozano, of the 2100 block of West 19th Street, is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.

About 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a man set himself and a Metro PCS store at 1527 W. 18th on fire, according to police and fire Cmdr. Walter Schroeder.

Two officers were also injured during the commotion, police said. They were taken to University of Illinois Hospital and Health Systems and their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, police said.

The festival was shut down about half an hour before it was scheduled to close because of the fire, a spokeswoman for the festival said. Police helped attendees evacuate without incident.

The store sustained extensive damage before fire was officially struck out at 8:10 p.m., Schroeder said.

Sunday was the last day of the Mole de Mayo festival, which featured food vendors and entertainment along 18th Street near Ashland.