No Injuries in Towering West Side Blaze

The fire struck a grocery store and Chinese restaurant on the city's West Side

By Stefan Holt
|  Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011  |  Updated 6:38 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
No injuries were reported, but several residents who live above the businesses in the adjacent building were temporarily displaced.

No injuries were reported, but several residents who live above the businesses in the adjacent building were temporarily displaced.

Photos and Videos

Fire Like Watching Someone Die: Business Owner

No injuries were reported but two businesses at 521 S. Cicero Ave. were destroyed after a fire broke out around 3 a.m. Wednesday.
More Photos and Videos

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.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out