Neighbors to a three-story apartment building in Chicago's west side Garfield Park neighborhood said they heard an explosion before fire engulfed the structure late Wednesday night.
Flames were seen shooting from the top floor of the building, on the 4300 block of West Van Buren Street, when fire crews arrived at about 10 p.m.
"There was a blast -- a big blast. And once the blast, we jumped up and came to the window and the whole building was on fire. Every floor was burning," said Carla Owens.
Several people lived in the building, according to neighbors, but it remained unknown as of 5:30 a.m. Thursday if there were any victims still inside. Firefighters were unable to venture far into the building because of its structural integrity.
At the height of the fire, smoke and flames were visibly pouring from nearly every unit as firefighters attacked the fire from the outside. At some point, a portion of the building collapsed, leaving a gaping hole.
The fire was struck out just after midnight but the cause remained under investigation by the early morning hours.