Extra-Alarm Fire Tears Through West Town Pallet Yard

An extra-alarm fire triggered multiple explosions overnight at a pallet factory on Chicago’s West Side and the blaze is now being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Firefighters responded to a fire around 11 p.m. Monday in the yard of a West Town neighborhood warehouse in an industrial area near North Damen and West Grand Avenues, officials said.

The company who owns the property makes and repairs wooden pallets, making it hard for crews to fight down the burning blaze. Flames shot high into the sky and propane tanks exploded, prompting a hazmat response as crews worked to keep the fire contained.

“We had a large volume of fire with all the pallets burning themselves,” Chicago Fire Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner William Vogt said.

Firefighters managed to prevent the blaze from spreading to two adjacent warehouses, but the fire burned the attic of a neighboring two-story home. Two residents inside were able to escape safely with their pets, fire officials said.

It took more than an hour for about 100 firefighters to get the fire under control.

The pallet company’s owner was on the scene, telling NBC 5 he plans to rebuild following the destruction.

It is still unknown what caused the fire to start.

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