Story Summary

South Side fire largest in 7 years

Chicago firefighters are still checking out on Wednesday afternoon the site of a massive blaze in Bridgeport. It was the largest fire in the city in seven years.

One firefighter was seriously injured when he slipped on some ice, and was taken to Christ Medical Center.

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Investigators today determined the blaze that gutted a nearly 100-year-old Bridgeport warehouse began when someone started a fire — but while police are investigating, the determination does not mean the fire was an arson.

Chicago demolition crews are hard at work Friday bringing down a warehouse where a massive fire took place earlier this week.

It’s expected to take crews all night to demolish the warehouse at 37th and Ashland Avenue.

“The Office of Fire Investigation has determined the cause of the 5-11 Fire on Ashland to be open flame ignition of available combustibles,’’ said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.  But while police are investigating, the determination does not mean the fire was arson.

The fire has rekindled a couple times, including throughout the day and night Friday.

Demolition began in the northwest corner of the building where the fire is still burning.

The warehouse is covered in ice and there was fear it could collapse under the weight.

A vacant warehouse in Bridgeport continued to burn Friday morning.

The building at 3737 Ashland first caught fire Tuesday night.

200 Firefighters spent hours spraying it down.

The water, combined with the freezing temperatures, covered the building in ice.

The fire was in control until Thursday morning, when it rekindled and turned into a large fire again – that continued into Friday.

Demolition is set to take place sometime Friday.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the building is owned by a company run by imprisoned real estate developer Calvin Boender.

Boender went to prison in 2010 for bribing former Chicago Alderman Isaac “Ike” Carothers.

He was the original manager of the company that owned the warehouse.

Tax bills for the property are currently going to another of Boender’s companies, North Development Ltd. in Elmhurst.

Chicago firefighters were back on the scene of a warehouse fire from earlier this week after flames rekindled early Thursday morning.
Flames began to break out early this morning at 37th and Ashland Ave at the former Harris Marcus Group building.
Tuesday night’s fire was a 5-11 alarm blaze which spread quickly from the old timber in the warehouse. which is now draped in ice.
The flames have since been estinguished.

Chicago firefighters are back on the scene of a warehouse fire from earlier this week after flames rekindled early Thursday morning.

Flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the building at 37th and Ashland in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

The fire first broke out Tuesday evening.  200 firefighters were on the scene at the height of the fire and worked for hours to extinguish hot spots.

Fire officials say they’re not surprised the flames rekindled.  Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas says, “when it gets encrusted in ice, we still have fire underneath that pile.  As that fire starts to fester itself, eventually it gets more air and it starts to light up again.”

With eight inches of ice coating the outside of the building and the internal structure damaged by flames officials say the building could collapse under the weight of the ice.

It could take days to put out the fire.

This used to be a home to a furniture company, but it went out of business 10 years ago.

A fire at a warehouse at 37th and Ashland has rekindled in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

The initial fire broke out at the warehouse on Tuesday and was raised to a 5-alarm.

This week’s cold weather has made it difficult for firefighters to put out the fire with water because it freezes so quickly.

Fire officials say all the old wood that’s inside made everything worse.

Crews are back at the scene this morning working the fire.

More details as they become available.

Chicago firefighters are still checking out on Wednesday afternoon the site of a massive blaze in Bridgeport. It was the largest fire in the city in seven years.

The fire broke out at an old, five-story warehouse at 37th and Ashland around 9 p.m. Tuesday. A fire chief passing by the former Harris Marcus Group building noticed the flames, and alerted his fellow firefighters. More than 200 firemen battled the fire, and it took them about four hours to get it under control. Huge flames and smoke shot out through the collapsed roof. A zone is set up around the building in case it crumbles even further.

Besides the fire, firefighters had to battle the harsh winter conditions. The bitter cold caused ice to form on hydrants and ladders. The frigid temperatures also left the building coated with thick ice.

ice7“The first fire live that I’ve ever saw in my whole life. And then to see that, I mean, what happened was bad. But, to see that, that looks pretty cool. The way it looks now, you know?  What the firefighters had to go through last night was bad,” said Isabela Lopez, a Bridgeport resident.

“This morning, my son wanted to come and look at it, and it looks like an ice castle.” said Bridgeport resident Mike Lopez.

One firefighter was seriously injured when he slipped on some ice, and was taken to Christ Medical Center.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

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Firefighters remained on the scene of a warehouse fire on Chicago’s South Side Wednesday morning.

The fire was mostly out, but crews were searching for hot spots.

At its peak, 170 firefighters were needed to get the flames under control.  That was one-third of the Chicago Fire Department’s on-duty personnel, making it the department’s biggest response in 7 years.

The fire broke out in a vacant building at 3757 S. Ashland Ave. in Bridgeport, just after 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

It was called in by a Fire Department Chief who happened to be driving by.

“I was looking out my window and I noticed the fire, and it was pretty hot, intense,” said Bridgeport resident Mike Lopez. “Then this morning, my son wanted to come and look at it, and it looks like an ice castle.”

One firefighter suffered a back injury, but no one else was hurt.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Chicago firefighters are calling a South Side warehouse fire the largest they’ve seen in seven years. Now, the warehouse is covered in ice.

Flames engulfed a warehouse on Chicago’s South Side in what firefighters are calling the largest fire they’ve battled in seven years.

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