Flames flared up again Thursday morning at a South Side warehouse where fire officials said the largest fire in “many years” took place earlier this week.
The blaze was never fully extinguished when it initially erupted Tuesday night at an abandoned warehouse near Ashland Avenue and 38th Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood, a Chicago Fire Department official said. The fire was merely contained, the official said, contradicting earlier statements Thursday from Fire Media Affairs that the fire had rekindled.
About 50 firefighters were at the warehouse Thursday morning and would work in rotating shifts to dose any flare-ups for the next few days, a fire official said. To help contain the fire, firefighters will use a “deluge unit” that pumps water out faster and stronger than a hose, the official said.
Investigators continue to look for clues as to what caused the fire, the official said, adding that squawkers could have been a factor.
On Tuesday, more than 170 firefighters battled the five-alarm blaze that engulfed the warehouse and jumped to another structure.
“We haven’t had a fire this big in many years,” Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said late Tuesday.
One firefighter suffered a minor back injury and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
The “extreme” fire was so extensive, emergency crews called two more special alarms, sending roughly one-third of the city’s total firefighting power then to help, officials said.
Langford said he could not recall a blaze requiring that much manpower since the December 2004 blaze in the 100 block of S. La Salle Street.
On Tuesday night, flames were “out of control” on all floors in the abandoned warehouse where the fire began, but crews were gaining control of the fire by 11:15 p.m., according to the Fire Department.
The roof and three walls of the 200-foot by 200-foot structure collapsed as crews fought the flames. The fire jumped to another building in the 3800 block of S. Ashland Ave., but firefighters halted the blaze from consuming that building.
“We took that out right away,” Langford said.
“If this had gotten any bigger we would have called suburban firefighters to cover some fire houses,” he added.
“It’s turning into a big ice cube now,” Langford said.
Reports and photos of the fire spread across social media. The blaze could be seen from miles away.
-- Sun-Times, Sun-Times Media Wire
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