Reporters on the scene in Chicago say that at least one person was rescued as images of cars falling into flames at the flea market roof top parking lot are swallowed into the building in a “hell-like” blaze.
NBC Chicago reports that some civilians still may be trapped at the Buyer’s Flea Market in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood. Firefighters are currently distinguishing the flames and have been doing so since Tuesday morning.
Fire officials added that there were reports of people trapped in the northwest side of the building.
The Chicago Department’s Media page has been keeping the public updated on the incident via Twitter,
Fire building has suffered partial collapse— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016
All companies still working.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016
Ambulances were called to the scene as well. Witnesses and emergency officials recall seeing several people on stretchers; however, the fire department said that there were no injuries reported.
So far, at least one person was rescued from inside of the Buyer’s Flea Market building, the fire department added as they are still working to figure out just how many civilians are trapped inside of the Chicago fire.
NBC Chicago said that by 11:30 a.m., all Chicago firefighters were ordered out of the building. The flames had become too much even for them at that point as the department upgraded the blaze to a 4-alarm fire.
In response, level one hazmat suits were required from this point forward in order to finish the job and rescue any remaining people trapped in the fire.
When the rooftop parking lot of the Chicago flea Market collapsed, at least seven cars initially fell inside the building. The Chicago Fire department said that vehicles and other flammable items inside prompted the department to “surround and drown” the building.
The Chicago Tribune covered the story as well, claiming that about 180 firefighters and 60 pieces of equipment were called to the scene.
There were no less than five regular hoses dousing the high octane fire burning up the Chicago flea market.
Chicago Journalist Paul Biasco was on the scene covering the fire via live Tweeting. Shoppers who made it outside of the Chicago flea market set ablaze were gathered outside in disarray as they discussed how the fire could have possibly started, and should they get lawyers involved with the incident.
In particular, one woman who rents a booth at the Buyer’s Flea Market told ABC7 that she has lost about $7,000 worth of Mexican candy that she sells.
And other businesses surrounding the Chicago flea Market, like Jeffrey Lichten, owner of a plumbing chemicals business next door, said he’s very concerned about his business being torched in the wake of the flea market fire.
“Obviously if the fire gets to our property, our place could burn down,” he said. “We do have some flammable liquids and that could cause a problem.”
Who Started the Chicago Flea Market Fire?
Perhaps itself? ABC 7 Chicago reports that the Buyer’s Flea Market has been standing in Chicago for more than 30 years and that it is the city’s largest indoor-outdoor flea market.
Once the fire dies down, investigators will find out if the old building’s fire-safety procedures were indeed up-to-date. So far, there doesn’t seem to be any foul play like arson, for the cause of the Chicago fire.
Currently, the Chicago Fire Department media has scheduled a press conference with the public for closure. More answers should become available then.
Press conference now at Kilbourn & Haddon.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016