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Food warehouse roof collapses in extra-alarm fire on Chicago's South Side

Crews battle extra-alarm fire in Back of the Yards
Crews battle extra-alarm fire in Back of the Yards 04:28

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Firefighters spent nearly three hours battling an extra-alarm fire that started Thursday morning at a warehouse in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The fire started at a warehouse at the Evans Food Group processing plant near 41st and Halsted around 8:30 a.m. Chicago Fire Department officials said the fire was later raised to a 3-11 alarm, bringing in extra crews to fight the flames.

Heavy flames and thick black smoke could be seen coming from the roof of the warehouse.

District Chief Jim McDonough said the fire spread from the original warehouse where it started to at least two connected buildings. The roofs of all three buildings collapsed during the fire.

Crews used three tower ladder trucks and five large hand lines to contain the fire from the outside before it was safe to go inside to extinguish the remaining flames.

Large fire burning at warehouse in Back of the Yards 02:48

A worker at the plant said it is essentially a large kitchen that packs and ships food all over the country. McDonough said the warehouse stores pork products and grease that both helped fuel the blaze.

It appears the building will be a total loss.

Approximately 150 people work at the warehouse, but it was unclear how many employees were inside when the fire started. McDonough said everyone got out of safely before firefighters arrived.

The fire was out by around 11 a.m., but crews were expected to remain on the scene to douse any hotspots to prevent the fire from flaring up again.

No injuries were reported. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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