CHICAGO – No one was injured but a building and local business is beyond repair after a fire tore through a North Side building Thursday morning.
Flames were scene shooting out of the Famsa Furniture store on Milwaukee Ave in Logan Square around 8 a.m. The store was closed at the time.
The fire produced thick, toxic smoke that could be seen for miles.
Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Timothy Sampey says in addition to furniture, Famsa sells appliances, electronics and mattresses all of which by today's manufacturing methods are laden with dangerous chemicals. It didn’t take long for the fire to spread.
Initially, fire officials tried attacking the blaze but they soon went into defensive mode.
“With their thermal imaging they were picking up high-heat samples,” Sampey said.
“At that point and time, the battalion chief ordered all companies out of the building when he identified as a bow string truss.”
“A bow string truss” in fire fighter terms is referred to as a widow maker because it can easily collapse. And in short order it did.
150 firefighters fought the blaze. Ladder trucks were used to spray water inside to stop the fire from spreading to the basement which was filled with mattresses and to stop it from spreading to neighboring buildings.
Famsa and the building are both a complete loss.
Neighboring businesses had to close as well because of the smoke.
The cause is still being investigated.