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Fire in Chicago's Little Village destroys massive pallet factory (VIDEO)

A fire accompanied with billowing black and gray smoke could be seen for miles in Chicago on Thursday night and early Friday morning as a fire raged on in the 2500 west block of 25th Street on the city’s southwest side. In the Little Village neighborhood, the Chicago Fire Department battled the blazes reaching to the sky from a huge pallets warehouse, according to NBC News, this reporter and a host of other local media outlets.

2525 West 25th Street in Chicago down in flames on July 31, 2014
2525 West 25th Street in Chicago down in flames on July 31, 2014
Photo by Scott Paulson

The fire engines began raging in the area at approximately 11:15 p.m. on Thursday as the Chicago Fire Department was called to the massive pallets warehouse. In short order, the horrific fire escalated to a 3-alarm fire. It took several hours to put the fire out. By the incident’s end, three buildings were lost as well as several tractor trailers and possibly thousands of wooden pallets in and around the business.

Locally, explosions could be heard from the fire’s location just east of the intersection of 25th Street and Rockwell. As the fire raged, Chicago fire fighters were severely challenged. The Chicago Fire Department found that were attempting to use more water than the city’s local pumping station could supply them.

Deputy Fire Commissioner Anthony Vasquez said that the fire department did have an issue with water supply. He said that when you supply a large volume, pumpers in large numbers, it diminishes the water supply in the surrounding area. He asserted that they brought in larger diameter hose apparatus and reached large water mains to increase their water volume. The water department assisted the fire department as it increased pressure in the area where the fire raged. The fire brought onlookers from all over the area – on foot and in vehicles, as the Chicago Police Department blocked vehicular traffic from every direction including the closing down of well-traveled Western Avenue, south of Cermak Road to Blue Island. The cause of the fire is still being investigated by officials. No injuries have been reported, according to the Chicago Tribune.