Reporting Lisa Fielding
Updated 10:10 p.m.
OAK LAWN (CBS) – An extra-alarm fire has devastated at least two businesses in an Oak Lawn strip mall, including one that claimed to be the oldest bridal shop in the country.
The fire started around 3 p.m. at Eva’s Bridals of Oak Lawn, 4811 W. 95th St. That’s when an employee at the bridal shop spotted smoke on the roof and called 911. All five businesses in the area were able to evacuate safely.
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But brides like Ashley Kuhl say they are left scrambling to replace dresses they ordered there.
“I guess I just feel kind of shocked. It’s just really sad,” said Kuhl.
She and others say it’s hard to look at home video of the fire and the smoke.
Kuhl’s mother was in tears.
“It does break my heart,” she said.
Kuhl’s future groom tried to assure his bride everything will be OK.
It’s a dress. It’s a huge deal, but it’s not as if we’re getting married tomorrow,” said Rick Piwowarski. “So we will find you another dress and you’ll look even more beautiful, and we’ll be fine.”
The family owned shop is well-known the South Side and south suburbs and has been outfitting brides for decades.
Chicago Fire Department crews were assisting in fighting the blaze, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.
Cleanup crews shoveled debris on Wednesday night near the Radio Shack and physical rehab offices that were also damaged in the fire.
The Oak Lawn fire chief says they can’t yet pinpoint the cause of the fire. He does believe they will have additional results after an investigation on Thursday.
The owner of the bridal shop says she wants to help these devastated brides get dresses. She is setting up a number that brides can call to get information on their orders. The number should be up and running by Thursday: (630) 747-1911.
CBS 2′s Pamela Jones contributed to this report.