Fire Destroys Large Englewood Commercial Building

Crews were called to the three-story building on the 6300 block of South Halsted Street at about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday

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    08/28/14: NBC Chicago's Trina Orlando reports from West 63rd and South Halsted streets at midday. (Published Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014)

    Chicago firefighters on Thursday morning were still tending to hot spots after a massive fire consumed a commercial building on the city's south side, adjacent to Kennedy-King College.

    Crews were called to the three-story building on the 6300 block of South Halsted Street at about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday. The fire was upgraded to a three-alarm fire by midnight as flames were seen shooting from the roof.

    "Copious" amounts of water from 10 master streams were used to gain control of the fire, one firefighter said.

    "There was probably over 125 firefighters here fighting this fire," District Chief Don Haroma said at about 5 a.m. "It's a pretty good sized building. ... A lot of the building is compromised by the fire, and we're going to be here for a while."

    The fire began in the basement of the building, which is next to a vacant lot where a new Whole Foods Market store is planned, a firefighter said. The second and third stories had vacant apartments, but the first floor was retail space that included a mattress store, two shoe stores and a convenience store. Several of the businesses were completely destroyed.

    The owner of Z Mattress & Furniture kept a positive attitude despite the loss of the business and his job.

    "We are Muslim people. We trust the God and we have to say "Thank you" for everything," said Sharif Absi.

    The fire was out by 3:30 a.m., but the cause was still under investigation as of 6:30 a.m.

    Service on the Chicago Transit Authority's Green Line was temporarily disrupted. Route 8 and 63 buses also avoided the area.

    There were no injuries.

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