Photos show heavy smoke billowing from the roof of the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, as firefighters battled a blaze Wednesday morning at the South Loop steakhouse.
1401 S Michigan now a 2-11 alarm. No injuries at this time. Will update ASAP. pic.twitter.com/ncnzTLCyEf— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) December 10, 2014
The Trib reports roofers were doing repairs and accidentally started the fire at the former firehouse at 14th Street and Michigan Avenue. The Chicago Fire Department tweeted that parts of the second floor collapsed and that the roof had fallen. The first tweet was posted a little before 11 a.m.
The restaurant was also used for scenes in the movie "Backdraft." CFD also noted that one of its engines used in the movie is also at the scene of the fire.
Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: Roofers were using four 100-pound propane tanks, and that contributed to the fire, CFD Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago told media, according to an on-air report by WBBM Newsradio. The first and second floor remains intact, but the roof caved in. Crews extinguished the fire at 12:05 p.m., and only clean up is left. Street closures remain.
1205. 2-11 alarm struck out. CFD still on scene picking up. No injuries no transports. No further info.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) December 10, 2014
It's been a trying year for Firehouse owner Matthew O'Malley, who runs Wabash Tap and owned the shuttered City Tavern. He was hit with a foreclosure suit earlier this year.
UPDATE: As of 3 p.m., the city of Chicago announced all streets in the fire's vicinity had been reopened to traffic.
UPDATE: A spokesman for the restaurant at 4:15 p.m. released a statement from O'Malley, thanking police and fire that no one was hurt. They're already thinking about a comeback:
"The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant has been a cornerstone of the South Loop community, and together we have developed a gathering place that gives us great pride. We are energized by our neighbors and local businesses and sincerely appreciate their concern, support and loyalty. We owe it to our history, our team and our community to preserve this treasured Chicago landmark which will remain a cornerstone of the South Loop neighborhood. Without hesitation or reservation we will rebuild! We have an unwavering commitment to our dedicated employees and all those who have patronized us so faithfully. We look forward to serving you again soon."