Crews on Tuesday evening began razing a century-old building after a portion collapsed earlier in the day onto pedestrians below.
Four people walking near the south side building received minor injuries when chunks of the three-story building's roof and facade came down shortly after noon.
"I was walking from the restaurant today and I turned around, and the next thing I know, the building was collapsing down," said Juan Watson.
Reports that a person was trapped in the rubble ended up being false. No one was inside the building, at 7900 S. Halsted St., officials said.
In fact, the building was vacant and has been for more than 20 years, they said. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the building has been owned by the city for a number of years.
Those who live in the area expressed anger that nothing had been done to prevent the collapse.
"It took for somebody to get hurt for them to tear the building down," said William Hopkins.
There is scaffolding around the ground perimeter of the entire building that's intended to catch falling debris.
Langford said the building dates back to the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and may date back as much as 130 years.