CHICAGO (CBS) — Thunderstorms that rolled through the Chicago area overnight knocked out power for thousands of people, as strong winds blew down trees and electric lines in the city and suburbs.
ComEd said as many as 17,000 customers in northern Illinois lost power during the storms.
As of 7:30 a.m., there were approximately 5,000 outages, according to ComEd.
In Oak Lawn, a gust was powerful enough to take out a few light poles and knock down power lines in the area.
One set of lines came down on top of a pizza place at 87th and Major, creating a very hazardous situation for firefighters and anyone in the area. That’s because the lines that fell came into contact with a secondary set of lines, causing a dangerous arcing effect.
Fortunately, a ComEd crew lineman happened to be in the area at the time. That person saw the danger and adjusted on the fly, saving the business and preventing injury.
“We were very with the ComEd response. We got an initial ETA of unknown, because they had several crews out being sent to other locations,” Oak Lawn Fire Chief Scott Bowman said. “They were actually just driving by, yes, and they saw the severity of the situation, the urgency, and changed his call to stay here and take care of the situation first.”
Firefighters were able to save the business, dousing flames on the roof after the building caught fire.