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Explosion, Fire Rock Glenwood Strip Mall

Glenwood Fire

An explosion and fire tore through a strip mall in Glenwood overnight. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 04/07/11 8:42 a.m.

GLENWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – Firefighters battled an explosion and fire at a strip mall in south suburban Glenwood.

The blast at 305 Glenwood Lansing Rd. happened at 12:18 a.m. and an ensuing fire caused “a lot of destruction” before crews were able to get the blaze under control a half hour later, Glenwood Fire Chief Kevin Welsh said. All of the other businesses in the complex sustained smoke damage, he said.

The fire started in Bolo & Lulu’s Shark’s Chicken and Fish restaurant, one of about a dozen businesses in the large strip mall.

“At this point, I’m not sure whether it started inside or out, but however it started, it engulfed the businesses in the area of Sharks Restaurant,” said Glenwood police Chief Demitrous Cook.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion, but there was no word on the cause.

“It just went boom,” said Ramona Lindsey, who lives behind the mall and heard the blast. “I thought it was thunder. We saw the smoke and I’d say withing ten minutes it was engulfed in flames.”

The roof of the building appeared burned-through early Tuesday, and an awning outside the brick structure was scorched.

“This is devastating,” said Paula Kelly, owner of an Allstate Insurance office two doors down from the restaurant.

Firefighters from the nearby Lansing, Flossmoor and Thornton Fire Departments assisted in battling the blaze.

There were no injuries in the fire.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.