WATCH: Food factory completely destroyed by massive fire
Thick, black smoke could be seen for miles as the fire raged for several hours at Newly Weds Foods in the 4100-block of W. Wrightwood in the Belmont Gardens neighborhood.
"Everybody go outside. When the alarm sound, everybody go outside," said Lina Borbolla, one of the workers who safely evacuated before flames consumed the plant.
Officials said the factory mixed baking ingredients, including cooking oil and bread crumbs, which may have helped fuel the fire. They believe the fire likely started in a piece of drying equipment.
"It started in the central cooking area, and it went up into the roof area and spread both laterally on the roof area. And the extension was very quick, very vital," Chicago Fire Dept. Cmsr. Richard C. Ford II said.
Officials said one firefighter sprained his knee, but no one else was injured - including the many workers who now face an uncertain future.
"I'm frustrated and I'm so scared and everything," Borbolla said.
The nearby Metra Healy station was impacted by the fire and the Milwaukee District North Line was halted in both directions for a time. Trains have since resumed service with delays.