CHICAGO (CBS)– Flames destroyed two businesses Tuesday morning in the South Loop, as more than 100 firefighters were called in to extinguish an extra-alarm blaze.
The fire started around 2 a.m. near 23rd and Michigan, at a storefront which housed Pronto Cleaners and Laundry and Lax Energy Worx – a holistic healers’, yoga, and massage therapy studio.
In less than 45 minutes, it was all gone.
“It’s heart-wrenching,” said Lax Energy Worx owner Paris Metcalfe.
Seven years of sweat and hard work are now nothing but debris.
“It’s a feeling I can’t even really explain,” Metcalfe said. “At some point, I just had to walk away. I couldn’t even watch anymore.”
Metcalfe said she couldn’t bear to see her studio burning down. Her shop, along with Pronto Cleaners, were both a total loss after the early morning fire.
Firefighters worked quickly, cutting through a chain-link fence behind the alley to get closer to the building.
The fire was so intense, the Fire Department brought in more than 100 firefighters, 12 engines, nine trucks, and a tower ladder to get the job done.
Although the fire was struck out by 1:45 a.m., the two businesses were gutted.
“It started out with smoke in the front, and then the flames got crazy,” said Shawn Holloway, who owns a nearby business. “This is really, in my opinion, detrimental to the community because these are businesses that have been here for a long time.”
The Fire Department said the blaze might have started in the back of the dry cleaner’s.
As for Metcalfe, she said the best she can do for her mind right now, is to be optimistic about the future.
“I’m just hoping for the best possible outcome moving forward; and sometimes beautiful things come from the ashes,” she said.
The Fire Department said no one was injured in the blaze. The cause remains under investigation.