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Authorities Shut Down Parties At Club And Community Center

Authorities shut down a party at the Riff Music Lounge in the South Loop. (Credit: CBS)

Authorities shut down a party at the Riff Music Lounge in the South Loop. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Hundreds of people poured out of two Chicago parties overnight, as firefighters discovered several code violations, and shut things down.

The first incident took place in the South Loop at Riff Music Lounge in the 2200 block of South Michigan. The club is located on the second floor.

Police say they were patrolling the area, when they noticed people spilling out into the street outside the location. The officers went in to investigate overcrowding, and discovered about 140 people inside a space designed for 80 people.


Fire investigators were called in and the party was shut down around 12:05 Sunday morning. The building was evacuated and the owners of the club were cited for a number of code violations, including overcrowding and problems with the exits.

“When we were still in line, we saw police cars come, but they went on past, so we didn’t think anything of it, but then we saw the fire marshal come in and they started looking up at the exit lights, they were writing stuff down, there were police with them, and they just kept looking around and what not,” said Riff club patron, Andrea Walton.

Walton tells CBS 2, there were two parties taking place inside– a birthday party, and Walton says she was attending an anniversary party.

“Even when the fire marshal came, one of the gentlemen that works there told us they immediately started putting people out, you know moving some people out to offset that, hoping that the fire marshal wouldn’t shut it down, but they closed it down anyway,” said Walton.

Firefighters forced their way into a second party in the Pilsen neighborhood after police received calls about people throwing objects from the roof of Casa Aztlan, Community Center on Racine.

Several parked cars were damaged, and debris littered the sidewalk in front of the building.

Once inside the center, firefighters report finding candles in the stairway, open live wiring, and a ceiling that was falling apart.

Firefighters say they are contacting the Department of Buildings to do further investigation at the center.

No arrests were made at either location.

All this comes just a few days shy of the 10 year anniversary of the E2 nightclub tragedy that killed 21 people. A stampede following the use of pepper spray inside, caused many to be trampled and killed trying to make their way out of the building.

Fire and police officials say these two incidents have nothing to do with the E2 nightclub anniversary.