(CBS) — Firefighters on Friday battled an extra-alarm fire at a Lakeview commercial building that sent smoke billowing through the neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
Flames were shooting out the roof of a single-story commercial building at 3330 N. Clark Street, south of Wrigley Field and near CTA railroad tracks, prompting the massive response around 5 p.m. The fire was later upgraded to a three-alarm fire following an explosion that rattled firefighters.
Fire officials say the fire started at a closed hookah lounge, Samah, and was reported by Roadhouse 66, a business within the row. A third business, Thai Classic, also occupied the building.
Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Mark Nielsen credited quick-responding firefighters with keeping the blaze from destroying adjoining buildings. He said a woman and her dog were rescued.
“I thought for sure we were going to lose a couple of buildings, probably three, maybe four,” he told reporters. “We got the resources here to stop that. I can’t say enough good about the firefighters.”
Red and Purple Line service was not affected, but 22 Clark buses were rerouted temporarily.
Intense smoke closed at least one additional business on the Clark Street strip. The fire, which burned bright orange, provided a spectacle to passersby and to CTA commuters who rolled by the inferno on the elevated tracks. At one point, an explosion rocked the building at ground level and knocked two firefighters down; they got up.
“Kind of scared us. Nobody got hurt,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen said the building would be torn down. Though the fire was extinguished by mid-evening, firefighters were expected to remain to douse any “hot spots,” he said.
Kat Vallera had planned to hold an event Friday night at Roadhouse 66 for her not-for-profit Music for Lombok. Instead, she watched firefighters hold their own against the spreading blaze.
“I live right across the street,” she said. “I saw this huge cloud of smoke and I’m like, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ I didn’t even realize it was at Roadhouse.”