Fire destroys Northwest Side laundromat

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A large fire destroyed a laundromat in the 5100-block of West Fullerton Avenue on Chicago's Northwest Side overnight. (WLS)

A large fire destroyed a laundromat on Chicago's Northwest Side overnight.

The flames broke out just after 1:50 a.m. Monday at JM Laundromat in the 5100-block of West Fullerton Avenue in Chicago's Cragin neighborhood. Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas McCormack said the blaze was extinguished by 5:30 a.m. and no one was hurt.

Firefighters used four master streams and went into defensive mode when the roof of the one-story building collapsed. Strong winds fanned the fire, but fortunately kept it from spreading to any buildings nearby.

"The roof started to collapse. The flames got to about 40 feet high in the ceiling. The high volume of wind actually helped us. It pushed the fire away from the garages and the houses across the street. After that, we were able to contain the fire and knock it down. We had to wait for the gas company, who had a little bit of difficulty shutting the gas off because it was a stuck valve. Once they got the gas shut off the fire was out," McCormack said.

McCormack said there was heavy fire close to electrical boxes near an area where a large gas line comes into the building.

"The origin of the fire, the heavy volume, was in the rear of the building. When we initially pulled up, there was heavy smoke coming out from the front. But the initial flames were at the rear of the building," McCormack said.

The owner of the laundromat did not want to speak on camera. He was in shock and said the building is a total loss. He has owned this business for more than a decade.

Investigators are looking into how the fire started.

Related Topics:
newsbuilding fireChicago - Cragin
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