In a two-hour span Saturday morning firefighters responded to three serious fires that together left 17 people displaced, may have damaged large quantities of perishable food items as well as led to at least one fire investigation.
The fires were across the city, one in the 2500 block of West 35th Street in Brighton Park about 8:45 a.m.; the next fire was in the 3852 block of West Monroe Street in East Garfield Park; and the third was two minutes later in the 11600 block of Central Park Avenue in Mount Greenwood, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Cmdr. Curtis Hudson.
At the former Campbell Soup factory, a fire destroyed an automobile in one of the storage areas, Hudson said. The destruction of the car parts caused thick, black, heavy smoke to pour out of the storage area and partially into the four-story building that now houses stores, including at least one that sell fruits and vegetables and another that sells candy, he said.
“We had to call the health department to come and clear it because the people were waiting,” Hudson said. “There’s multiple businesses that would be affected.”
A firefighter was injured during the response. Hudson said the firefighter was treated for a shoulder injury.
The fire in the 3800 block of West Monroe Street was a two-story apartment building, Hudson said. The fire was contained to one bedroom on the second floor, but smoke damage likely affected more space.
“We removed an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair and we escorted some children from the basement and from the first floor,” Hudson said. “There were seven adults displaced and 10 children displaced.”
The fire was put out fairly quickly, he said. The Illinois Department of Human Services was called to help the 17 people who were displaced by the fire.
The third fire was called in at 10:45 a.m. for a 1 ½ story abandoned building the 11600 block of Central Park Avenue, Hudson said.
“I guess it wasn’t a safe building,” Hudson said. “We did limited searches due to the condition of the building. I assume it was abandoned.”
No one was injured and no one was transported, he said, and fire officials notified the building department and asked for an immediate response due to some concern about the integrity of the structure.
Firefighters also called the Office of Fire Investigation, to determine whether the fire was intentionally set as well as the cause.
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