CHICAGO — A massive Albany Park fire that destroyed two businesses and an apartment building is still under investigation, but new information is coming out about the owner of the building that includes multiple code violations at properties he owns.
The fire started around 3:45 a.m. Monday at an apartment building at Montrose Avenue and Richmond Street. Officials said the fire spread quickly to two buildings that house Ultimate Ninjas Chicago Gym and the Twisted Hippo Brewery. One of the walls of the brewery collapsed.
The fire burned for several hours as around 150 firefighters battled it.
Neighbors report they heard at least eight explosions due to the fire. All of the residents of the apartment building were able to escape.
A 60-year-old man was transported to Swedish Hospital for smoke inhalation, according to fire officials. No other transports or injuries were reported.
The commercial building that houses Ultimate Ninjas and Two Hippos Brewery will likely have to be demolished. CFD said the fire started under a set of stairs in a gangway between one of the businesses and the apartment building.
The apartment building is owned by Gary Carlson. The city said he has had 72 active housing court cases against him.
The owner of the Twisted Hippo says the brewery had been in the location since 2019 and is still figuring out what’s next for the company.
Neighbors are hoping the businesses can make a comeback. A GoFundMe for Twisted Hippo has raised over $100,000 at this time.