Cicero warehouse fire spreads to nearby building

January 21, 2014 (CICERO, Ill.)

The entire vacant three-story warehouse in the 1800-block of 54th Avenue was engulfed in flames on Tuesday night.

The fire started around 6 p.m. and spread from the abandoned warehouse to a nearby building. The fire is being fueled by cardboard contained within that neighboring building, which houses a business called Central Steel Fabricators. Firefighters are trying to protect a third nearby building from the fire because it contains flammable chemicals, including paint thinner.

This fire was so big, a 3,000 foot line was used to bring water in from Chicago. Firefighters were rotated every 15 minutes due to the cold weather, and for that reason, reinforcements were called in from fire departments in Oak Park, Berwyn and Hinsdale.

"With the ice conditions, right when you open up a hose line, the streets were a sheet of glass. We're falling, everybody's trying the best they can. We have salt trucks out from the town. It's hindering us very much," said Chief Ron Opalecky, Cicero Fire Department.

Cicero's fire chief said that he expects to be fighting the fire all night, and that hot spots will be likely over the next two days.

So far, no injuries have been reported.

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