Part of Wabash Avenue closed in South Loop due to hanging ice from high-rise building

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One fire escape in the South Loop is frozen from top to bottom, and a possible thaw out is raising concerns. (WLS)

A slight warm up Sunday is adding to concerns of an icy mess in Chicago's South Loop with the threat of huge ice chunks falling into the street.

South Wabash Avenue between Balbo Drive and Harrison Street remained closed Sunday morning to both cars and pedestrians because of ice that could fall from a frozen fire escape.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, a broken sprinkler system on an upper floor of the building at 615 S. Wabash Avenue caused the front and fire escape to become covered in ice. It quickly froze over, causing a major hazard.

"My first thing when I saw a fire escape that looked inaccessible is that it would be really dangerous. We've been seeing a lot of fires in Chicago this week because of people life trying to fix their pipes or whatever else and I just worry that even if it is just a maintenance guy in there, somebody could be hurt if they can't use that fire escape," said Amy Bahrani.

The leak has stopped, and crews immediately closed down the sidewalk to prevent injuries from falling ice, and no injuries have been reported.

Office of Emergency Management and Communications First Deputy Rich Guidice said a tarp will go up around the storage facility and crews will slowly chip away the ice and part of Wabash may be re-opened by the morning rush Monday.

PHOTOS: Ice hangs from fire escape of South Loop high rise
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