Huge Blaze Destroys Businesses In Bronzeville

The building must be demolished, business owner says

By Lauren Petty
|  Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 10:00 PM CDT
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Firefighters fought the fire at Pershing and King Drive for several hours. Lauren Petty reports.

Firefighters fought the fire at Pershing and King Drive for several hours. Lauren Petty reports.

As many as 175 firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze well into Tuesday morning in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

Police said a cook at Baba's Steak & Lemonade in the 300 block of East Pershing Street smelled smoke around 11 p.m. Monday and called 911.

Firefighters fought the fire for several hours, and as of 6 a.m. the blaze appeared to be out. Fire officials said they had to use bucket trucks and run several hose lines to attack the challenging flames.

"It was too dangerous to go inside, so we had to have a defensive attack from the outside," Charles Stewart III said.

Baba's restaurant and a cell phone store were deemed a total loss along with a couple of vacant storefronts. What wasn't burned in the fire was destroyed by smoke and water, fire officials said. The building's roof collapsed from the intense flames.

One person was taken to the hospital for chest pains and was listed in good condition.

Investigators expected to enter the building sometime Tuesday morning to figure out what caused the fire and where the blaze started.

The owner of Baba's restaurant said the building will have to be torn down.
 

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