Chicago (CBS) — Thirty-two companies, including just under 100 firefighters, pushed back the heavy blanket of smoke and occasional flames from an autobody shop in the 6400 block of North Ravenswood Avenue in Rogers Park.
The holiday weekend perhaps played a role in the fire’s ability to build up heat and churn up debris.
“Nobody was working so it went undetected for quite some time until somebody driving by picked up the smoke coming from the rear of the structure,” Chicago Fire Department deputy commissioner Tim Sampey said.
Firefighters said adding to the danger of battling this blaze were the flammable and potentially explosive items found inside.
“With all the petroleum products, for them to keep it away from the four existing businesses around it, was remarkable,” Sampey said. “They did a phenomenal job of containing the fire to a structure.”
Sampey said the fire caused some runoff and smoke damage.
At least two homes suffered water damage as a result of the efforts to smother the flames. Pooling runoff and debris clogged drains and created flooding pains.
One neighbor used a broom to unclog debris.
Hours later, the water receded, but the amount of damage to some surrounding homes and the business is unclear.
Firefighters said one of their own was hurt in the process. They said he is in stable condition and that the fire is out.
The investigation about what caused the fire or where it started is ongoing.