Firefighters battled a large blaze in suburban Evanston late Sunday afternoon.
Large clouds of black smoke and flames were seen shooting into the sky from North Shore Towing at 2527 Oakton St. just after 4 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
Fire officials said several cars were on fire and Oakton Street was shut down between Dodge and McCormick.
Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control quickly but were still battling the flames about an hour later.
Several area fire agencies were called to the scene and were expected to remain at the scene for “some time,” officials said.
The blaze took place near a popular strip mall and Home Depot in the area.
“I saw black smoke when I came outside and I heard like little explosions like ‘boom, boom,’” said Home Depot employee Junior Wright. “It’s burning my eyes a little bit still.”
The blaze caused a power outage at the Home Depot and prompted a precautionary evacuation of the building, according to employee Robert Saucedo.
“There was a potential for a catastrophe,” Saucedo said. “It’s Labor Day weekend so we had a lot of people shopping in our store.”
Saucedo, who works in the flooring department, said the flames could be seen hitting fencing by the store.
“It was pretty intense,” he said.
Seven departments responded to the blaze and the city had to increase water pressure so firefighters could use master streams.
Officials said no injuries were reported and the cause of the fire had not been determined as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday.