Fire Blazes Through South Side Business

A raging fire left a business on Chicago’s South Side in ruins Tuesday morning.

The Chicago Fire Department said the DiFoggio Plumbing and Sewer Contractors warehouse near 32nd Street and Shields Avenue in Bridgeport went up in flames around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud explosion before the fire broke out. 

When crews arrived on scene, officials said a brick wall was destroyed.

"The exterior wall had already collapsed," said District Chief Arriel Gray. "At that point, other companies arrived on the scene. We set up tower ladders and master streams and we immediately went into defensive attack."

The fire quickly evolved to an extra alarm and took nearly three hours for firefighters to put out. It then rekindled a couple of hours later. 

Deputy District Chief Jeff Lyle said about 100 firefighters responded to the scene. 

Investigators were still working to determine what sparked the fire hours after the blaze, but said they would look into the witness reports. Lyle said a power wash and snow removal company that rents part of the building may have had chemicals that created a possible explosion.

No one was inside the building at the time and no injuries have been reported.

Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to investigate. 

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