A church on Chicago's Far South Side was devastated by a large fire on Monday afternoon, with church leaders calling the building a "total loss."
According to officials, firefighters were dispatched to the Beacon Light Ministries building in the 11000 block of South Michigan Avenue just after 12:30 p.m. Monday for reports of a large fire inside a building in the 11000 block of South Michigan Avenue.
When firefighters arrived on the scene they called out a two-alarm fire and began battling the blaze. During the fire, the roof on the building collapsed, and CFD entered what it called “defensive mode.”
The fire was struck out at approximately 1:10 p.m., but firefighters remain on the scene to put out any remaining hot spots.
Officials say that one firefighter was transported to a nearby hospital for a minor laceration. The firefighter was listed in fair-to-good condition, according to the department.
According to the church's pastor, no one was inside when the fire broke out, as members were on their way to the Shedd Aquarium for a Martin Luther King Day event.
A food pantry was housed at the church, but the fire completely wiped out all of the pantry's items, as well as clothes and school supplies, according to the pastor.
According to Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Barry Garr, firefighters were prevented from gaining entry to the structure because of elaborate locks on the doors. A frozen fire hydrant also briefly caused issues for firefighters, but the Chicago Water Department quickly unfroze the hydrant and allowed rescue workers to utilize it to fight the blaze.
The Office of Fire Inspection is expected to survey the damage and to rule on a potential cause of the blaze.