ALBANY PARK — An additional-alarm fireplace erupted at an Albany Park enterprise Tuesday afternoon, enveloping components of the Northwest Aspect in thick smoke and gutting the constructing.
The fireplace erupted about midday at Jojo Low cost Outlet Dwelling Line, 3040 W. Lawrence Ave. Chief Tom Carbonneau mentioned round 130 firefighters converged on the busy business strip as darkish smoke poured from the roof, again of the constructing and out the entrance door. Flames may very well be seen coming from the rear of the constructing.
Clients had been contained in the constructing when the hearth began within the second-level storage space and everybody inside rapidly received out as soon as they realized what was occurring, fireplace division spokesman Larry Langford mentioned. No accidents had been reported.
Carbonneau mentioned the hearth rapidly consumed the truss roof, which is “probably the most harmful fireplace we are able to have.” As soon as fireplace burns by way of a truss roof, the partitions supporting it is going to kick out and trigger the roof to break down, making it inconceivable for firefighters to enter the constructing, Carbonneau mentioned. A number of crews of firefighters began overhead grasp streams to begin dousing the roof at a number of angles.
The rear of the constructing partially collapsed round 1 p.m. and the roof additionally collapsed, Carbonneau mentioned.
As firefighters gave the impression to be specializing in the roof and the rear of the constructing, huge flames appeared within the storefront, shattering the glass and engulfing the constructing inside just a few seconds, forcing onlookers to scatter out of the best way.
Firefighters arrange hoses on Lawrence Avenue to battle the quickly spreading flames, which torched a avenue sign up entrance of the constructing.
The constructing was a “whole loss” and should be torn down, fireplace officers mentioned. Carbonneau mentioned the hearth was contained to the one retailer, though some neighboring outlets might have some smoke harm.
As of 1:50 p.m., the hearth had been principally contained and crews continued working to douse sizzling spots on the entrance of the constructing.
Because the flames subsided, onlookers might see the inside of the constructing was destroyed. The signal for the enterprise melted away, revealing the outdated painted metallic signal for an outdated automobile dealership.
That is amongst 4 fires which have occurred in Albany Park in current weeks, with three occurring inside days of one another.
A large fireplace that began at an condominium constructing Feb. 21 tore by way of the neighboring Twisted Hippo brewpub and Final Ninjas Gymnasium, destroying each buildings. Different close by fires included a vacant constructing at 3318 W. Cullom Ave. and a church at 4500 N. Spaulding Ave.
Whereas Langford mentioned the frequency of the fires within the space isn’t typical, he and Carbonneau mentioned they don’t have motive to consider the fires are linked in any manner. Investigations are ongoing however officers mentioned the causes and circumstances of the fires had been very completely different.
“Everybody tries to tie them collectively … nevertheless it’s a coincidence that it’s in the identical neighborhood; that’s all,” Carbonneau mentioned.
Carbonneau mentioned fireplace crews will probably be on the scene for a number of hours Tuesday investigating and securing the constructing. There was nonetheless some fireplace burning beneath the roof that they wanted to let burn out earlier than firefighters might safely enter, Carbonneau mentioned.
Alex V. Hernandez contributed.
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