A four-alarm fire that broke out on Chicago's Far North Side Friday evening and destroyed a strip mall is under investigation after fire officials say it was started by a roofing crew.
No injuries were reported though plumes of heavy smoke were seen pouring from a building in Rogers Park near Peterson and Lincoln just after 4 p.m. Friday. According to NBC Chicago, the fire apparently originated in a Mid American Furniture store and spread to adjacent sores that include two salons, an optometry store a nail salon and an American Mattress.
Officials told DNAinfo Chicago they believe the fire originated in the American Mattress store where the roofing crew was reportedly working with torches.
CBS Chicago reported explosions at the scene as well, possibly from transformers blowing up; the roof eventually collapsed on the building. The fire also caused power loss in the surrounding area. DNAinfo Chicago reports several neighbors said they heard 'three large booms" as the fire grew.
The fire department went into “defensive” mode by surrounding the blaze and shooting water onto it, CBS says. An estimated 200 firefighters were at the scene by 5:30 p.m. according to CBS.
The blaze, the cause of which is yet to be determined, caused "absolute gridlock" around the area mid evening rush hour.