Lincoln Park store being demolished after fire

May 30, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The blaze broke out just before the afternoon rush hour at the store in the 2400-block of North Sheffield.

The massive fire took several hours to strike and forced the CTA to shut down three train lines for hours during Tuesday night's evening rush.

Three buildings must come down. What makes the demolition and cleanup a delicate situation is that one of the buildings is only a few feet from the CTA's Red, Brown, and Purple line tracks.

"There is a concern that once we start removing that building, we don't want to, you know, interfere with the train track," said Lt. Kevin Jones, Chicago Fire Department.

The family-owned business is an important fixture in the community. Owner Roy Warner Jr., who has been at the location for 31 years, was very emotional as he watched the building come down Wednesday.

The company employs close to 30 people. Johanna Parra has worked for Warner for seven years.

"It's very devastating," she told ABC7. "It is very emotional for him. It has been his life. He built the store from scratch."

"We're temporarily going to be relocated at our warehouse until we rebuild," Parra continued. "We have been getting a lot of support from all the neighborhoods, so it's been very nice and touching."

"I feel happy that they he will rebuild," said Larry Wilkerson, a Lincoln Park resident.

Demolition crews have to be very careful in bringing the store down because of potential hot spots in one of the buildings.

"It has been particularly tough to extinguish," said Jones.

The Chicago Fire Department says that the probable cause of the fire is careless use of smoking materials.

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