CHICAGO (CBS) – The storms were so powerful Wednesday they ripped at least part of a roof off an apartment building in Bronzeville, leaving hundreds homeless.

There are 96 rental units inside the apartment complex located in the 5000 block of South King Drive in Chicago.

All of the families were forced to evacuate as the fire department deemed it unsafe for anyone to be inside. Officials estimated 25 percent of the roof was destroyed.

“The whole thing fell down,” said resident Ciara Williams.


Bricks and debris cover the sidewalk around the apartment complex.

Chicago firefighters said they focused on the roof of the building, saying it’s badly damaged.

“We have no top of the building. The top of the building, it’s gone,” said Shenika Flynn, a resident of the building.

“During the microburst that passed through this area about an hour ago, it ripped a good portion of the roof off, causing some damage,” stated Chicago Fire Department’s Chief of Special Operations, Tim Walsh.

A resident recoreded cell phone video showing the roof dangling as someone evacuated the building. The damage is so severe, all 96 units were forced to evacuate.

“We are afraid if we allow them to stay here with the heavy weather coming in later this evening, there could be more compromise to the building,” said Walsh.

“A lot of us are wondering where we are going to go tonight, what we are going to do, can we go back in the building? Are we going to be safe,” asked Flynn.

The CTA provided buses for displaced residents, giving them a place for the night.

The fire department has not said when residents can return to the building.

The American Red Cross said they provided 38 adults and 25 children with lodging, food, clothing, snacks, blankets, and toiletries.