CHICAGO (CBS) — Federal investigators have begun sifting through the rubble of a Humboldt Park flea market destroyed by a massive fire earlier this week.
The Chicago Fire Department requested assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on Thursday to help determine what started Tuesday’s blaze at the Buyers Flea Market, at 4545 W. Division St. Twenty ATF arson investigators arrived in Chicago on Friday to join the probe. A local ATF team had been working with local fire investigators since day one.READ MORE: Ed's Driveway: Chicago Auto Show 2021
The extra-alarm blaze destroyed the huge flea market on Tuesday. It took firefighters several hours to get the fire under control after flames ripped through the two-block long building.
It’s the first time the ATF National Response Team has been called in to assist with this type of investigation in Chicago.
ATF agents and Chicago police and fire officials said they are making no assumptions about the cause of the blaze.
“The Chicago Fire Department, the Police Department, and the ATF will jointly work the scene to determine the cause and origin of the fire. I want to make it perfectly clear that we have no preconceived notions or suspicions as to this fire. We need to examine the evidence to narrow our range of possibilities as to the cause, and we will go where the evidence takes us,” Chicago First Deputy Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II said.