Residents Displaced, Animals Rescued from Pet Store Fire

A Pilsen building was evacuated Wednesday afternoon as firefighters battled a blaze which caused "extensive damage" to a number of units in the three-story building and displaced a number of residents.

A still-and-box alarm was called for the fire at 1735 W. 18th St. at 3:30 p.m, according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quention Curtis.

Firefighters found flames on the second and third floors of the building, which housed a pet store on the main floor and apartments on the second and third, Curtis said.

Several birds, a lizard and a tarantula were rescued, but some fish remained in the store, sources said.

Although there were no reports of injuries, residents in some units will be displaced.

The entire building was evacuated as crews battled the blaze, Curtis said.

Traffic was initially being diverted around the area of the fire and 18th Street from Ashland to Damen avenues was closed to allow emergency crews to work.

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