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Video above from Lee Larkins of the Windward Boardshop, which sits across the street from a vacant restaurant that burned yesterday in evening in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. Larkins was rolling when an explosion enveloped firefighters in front of the building. Thanks to STATter911.co reader Eric Crist for the alert on this video.
Crews took a little more than 1-1/2 hours to extinguish the fire at 3330 N. Clark St., which demolished the one-story building, but there were no reports of injuries said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. A woman who was sleeping when the fire started and a dog were rescued by firefighters from a building just to the south of the building, and firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to both that frame building and another wooden building just north, he said.
The fire was raised to a 3-11 alarm response about 5:45 p.m. and struck out about 7 p.m., Langford said.
Fire commanders called a Mayday alert for trapped firefighters just after 8:30 p.m., when the ceiling in a portion of the building that had housed a Thai restaurant collapsed, but all firefighters were soon accounted for.
“It’s a wonder that the fire didn’t get ahold of that building” to the south, which was separated from the fire building by only about 8 inches, Langford said.
At one point, an explosion of smoke billowed out of the front of the building, but no one was injured, Langford said. Firefighters stood by in the nearby frame structures, which fire officials were afraid would be ignited by the blaze, but crews were able to keep the fire from spreading, Langford said.
As firefighters fought to bring the fire under control, part of the building and the roof collapsed at 3330 N. Clark. In fact, part of the roof exploded into the street in a backdraft situation. No injuries were reported, but firefighters say they rescued a dog. The three-alarm fire response was struck just before 7 p.m. Friday night in the 3300-block of North Clark Street, just south of Wrigley Field.
With flames and thick smoke pouring from the building, firefighters poured water on it from above and below. At one point the roof collapsed, creating a backdraft-type situation as neighbors like Lee Larkins watched from across the street.
After that backdraft happened, they really cleared it out so that other firefighters could get in so they could take care of it,” said Larkins, Windward Board Shop.
The congested neighborhood just two blocks south of Wrigley Field is filled with bars and restaurants and residential units. Firefighters were able to contain most of the damage to the building where it started.
“The fact that the building to the south is still there is amazing,” said Mark Nielsen, Asst. Dep. Fire Commissioner, Chicago Fire Department.