Four-Alarm Fire Destroys South Side Warehouse

Crews had to link fire engines together to maintain water pressure as water was brought in from a great distance

No injuries were reported in a massive fire at a warehouse and trucking company in Chicago's Brighton Park overnight into Thursday, officials said.

The fire, at Romar Transportation Systems, on the 3700 block of South California Avenue, lit up the night sky beginning at about 11:15 p.m. Exactly what was inside the warehouse remained unclear by the early morning hours, but firefighters said wood pellets were a major source of fuel.

More than 400 firefighters and personnel battled the inferno, which began as two alarms and later escalated to four. Part of the job was protecting surrounding buildings, officials said.

"The guys did a great job. They stopped the fire from advancing to the other building on the west end," said First Deputy Fire Commissioner Charles Stewart.

Officials said they took a defensive stance in the firefight, with no one going inside the building. Rather, firefighters attacked the flames with torrents of water from overhead. The shipping yard doesn't have fire hydrants, so crews linked the fire engines to each other to bring water in from a great distance while maintaining water pressure.

Officials initially said the fire was struck out at about 1:30 a.m. but large flames reappeared at about four hours later.

A cause was not immediately known and there were no reports of injuries.

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