Nearly 100 firefighters battled heavy flames and smoke early Wednesday at a grocery store and Chinese restaurant on Chicago's West Side.
No injuries were reported, but several residents who live above the businesses in the adjacent building were temporarily displaced.
Fire officials say the blaze may have started in the restaurant at 521 S. Cicero Ave. and spread to the second building's storefronts. Firefighters arrived at 3 a.m. confronted with towering flames and thick, black smoke.
They tried attacking the flames from the inside, but crews were overwhelmed and called in a second alarm.
"The conditions in there were above their heads, around them," said Fire Chief Timothy Sampey. "It got overwhelming and at that point it was safer to back out. We weren't aware of anyone in the building so we went into defensive mode at that point."
The fire was under control nearly three hours later.
The businesses appeared totally destroyed. Both owners said they need to find a way to reopen their shops soon, though, and get back to work or else they'll need to find other jobs.
Cicero was closed between West Congress and West Harrison as crews cleaned up the wreckage. The exact number of residents still displaced is unknown.