Police Suspect Arson in Ill. Gay Club Fire
Police say that the fire that destroyed a gay club in a Chicago suburb last weekend was caused by arson, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Last Sunday the Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge was engulfed in flames and significantly burned. The fire was reported around 6:25 a.m. after someone smelled smoke. The club’s owner, Frank Elliott, 25, said he believed the fire was suspicious after homophobic comments were found written on the wall and the establishment’s back door was kicked in, according to the Chicago news station WGN-TV.
Although the bar, located in Oak Park, a prosperous, upper-middle-class suburb 17 miles west of Chicago, was damaged, no one was hurt in the fire.
"I’m beyond shocked," Elliott said. "I have nothing." He said he left the club around 2 a.m. and that the door had been kicked in but a safe he kept in his office was not taken.
"My stomach has been in knots since 6:30 this morning," Elliott told the news station. "My whole life, everything that I’ve worked for ... my whole life is on the line and I don’t know what to think or even begin with."
It seems as though Elliott’s assumptions are correct as authorities now say that the fire was intentionally set.