Firefighters Battle Blaze at Commercial Building in Chicago's Lawndale Neighborhood

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Firefighters battled a massive four-alarm blaze at a commercial building in the Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago's West Side Thursday morning.

Crews responded at about 9 a.m. to the fire at a building located at 4425 W. 16th St., according to a statement from the Chicago Fire Department.

Assistant Deputy Chicago Fire Commissioner for Operations Barry Garr said the primary building's signage indicated it was an auto body parts store.

"The fire had the free run of the building," Garr said during a news conference on the incident shortly after 11 a.m., when he predicted crews would need roughly and hour and a half to two hours more to fight the blaze.

Garr said the fire department had difficulties getting water at first, "fighting mother nature and high winds as well," before the water department eventually helped them get more water.

The people in the building were able to get themselves out, officials said. One person was taken out in good condition, with no fire-related or life-threatening injuries reported.

Garr said there were several collapses within the building and a "defensive posture" was needed to combat the blaze. The fire was also considered a hazardous materials incident.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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