Firefighters battle massive warehouse fire in Cicero

A vacant Cicero was engulfed in flames Tuesday evening in an extra-alarm fire that spread to an adjacent industrial building, according to authorities.

Cicero fire department officials said that the entire warehouse at 1829 54th Avenue in Cicero was ablaze, according to a town spokesman Ray Hanania.

The fire spread to a building just south, where a business, Central Steel Fabricators, was located, he said in an email. Firefighters were battling the 5-alarm fire with the help of the Chicago Fire Department and other area departments.

Freezing hydrants were hampering the firefighting effort, Cicero Fire Chief Ron Opalecki told WGN-TV.

“We have a lot of issues of water freezing, our mains freezing up,” Opalecki said.

As soon as water began to come out of hydrants, it started to freeze, and “the streets are a sheet of ice,” Opalecki said.

Because of the freezing conditions, the Chicago Fire Department was helping Cicero by providing equipment to pump water from Roosevelt Road, 6 blocks north of the fire, Opalecki said.

The fire also disrupted CTA Pink Line service west of Pulaski, according to the CTA.

The warehouse was located just west of the Cicero Animal Shelter, but none of the animals were in jeopardy, Hanania said.

No one was believed in the buildings affected by the fire, Opalecki said.

The cause of the blaze had not been determined, the spokesman said.

–Chicago Tribune staff report

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