'I'm just happy to be alive': Extra-alarm blaze breaks out at Oak Park building

The building houses 3 apartments, Delia's Kitchen and a nail salon

ByJohn Garcia and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Extra-alarm blaze engulfs Oak Park building
Oak Park, Illinois firefighters battled an extra-alarm fire Tuesday morning in a three-story building where Delia's Kitchen is located.

OAK PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- An extra-alarm fire broke out in a multi-story building in west suburban Oak Park Tuesday morning.

Flames could be seen shooting up the building as firefighters pour water on it from all directions.

The fire was in a three-story building in the 1000-block of West Lake Street, with Delia's Restaurant on the first floor and three apartments upstairs. Fire officials said the restaurant sustained heavy water damage.

Chopper 7HD flew over the scene as heavy smoke billowed from the building as firefighters sprayed water on the flames coming from the roof.

Firefighters battle an extra-alarm fire in a three-story building that houses Delia's Kitchen.

"My heart is pounding," said Brianna Bailey, building resident. "I'm talking to 911 [and] we've got to get our stuff and get out. I grabbed the stuff on my body and got out of there."

Delia's kitchen was full of customers enjoying breakfast when the fire broke out a little before 9:30 ta.m. They believe it started outside the building but quickly spread through the building, which features a lot of wood.

"When we started seeing the smoke, all the servers helped get the customers out right away," said Dan Szwiec, kitchen manager at Delia's. "No one in the restaurant was in danger or affected."

Firefighters from 12 neighboring communities responded and managed to keep the flames from spreading to other buildings nearby.

"It did a lot of damage. All three floors have been damaged," said Chief Ron Kobyleski with the Oak Park Fire Department. "The first floor extensively damaged by water."

SEE ALSO: Chicago warehouse fire in Lawndale draws hundreds of firefighters, smoke seen for miles

The future of the restaurant and nail salon on the first floor is uncertain, and it will be some time before residents are able to return to their apartments to try to recover any belongings that survived the fire.

"All of my belongings are up there, but at the end of the day, I'm just happy to be alive," Bailey said. "Five minutes more of me sleeping and there probably wouldn't be a way to get out of my apartment."

There are no reports of any injuries. Lake Street was closed in the area for several hours until the scene was cleared.