Large fire destroys paint store

September 29, 2009 4:22:50 AM PDT
Smoke billowed over an extra-alarm blaze that roared through a Southwest Side paint store Monday. The smoke from 2350 S. Pulaski Road could be seen for miles. The blaze began around 11 a.m. and caused significant damage to the Little Village paint store.

PHOTOS: Images of the blaze from Chopper 7HD

The fire prompted a Level One Hazmat response because of the combustible supplies inside the store. Investigators said the blaze was an accident.

"The employees inside were working and moving some paint thinner. That paint thinner fell down and spilled out and went towards a water heater. They saw the danger, they started to move out. As they moved out, the building caught on fire," said Jose Santiago, commander Chicago Fire Department. The store was immediately evacuated. No injuries were reported.

"No civilians injured. There were no firefighters injured. Because it has paint thinner and other unknown chemicals, we requested a level one Hazmat. We have taken air samples and water simples. We did shut down the utilities around the building and the fire is almost out," said Commander Santiago.

The blaze was contained, but it appears to have caused significant damage to the building.

"The building is destroyed. The roof is down," said Commissioner Santiago.

Officials hoped to have the roads open by the afternoon rush.


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