Hundreds of firefighters battled a massive blaze at a pallet facility warehouse Tuesday evening in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.

“Currently, numerous firefighters and emergency personnel are battling a massive 4-alarm fire at a pallet warehouse facility in West Town, Chicago, Illinois. The scene is marked by heavy flames and thick smoke visible for miles, intensifying as the fire spreads. Police have issued advisories urging the public to steer clear of the area due to the heavy black smoke, which poses risks to air quality. At this time, the cause of the fire remains unknown, and the situation continues to unfold,” Rawsalerts wrote.

“According to Officials who are on the scene The fire has escalated to a HazMat situation due to the presence of a fertilizer company they are asking people to avoid the area,” an update read.


“3-11 Alarm Fire @ 2029 W Hubbard. Pallets on fire in a building supply warehouse (MD),” Chicago Fire Media posted.

“Alarm has been upgraded to a 4-11 by 2-1-6. 3 Elevated, 7 Master Streams working,” an update read.

ABC7 Chicago reports:

Chicago Fire Department First District Chief Jim McDonough said the call for the fire in the 2000-block of West Hubbard Street first came in just after 5:45 p.m.

The fire broke out at a pallet company that has an industrial space comprising two-story front office area and then a massive single story warehouse that held approximately 20,000 wooden pallets at the time the fire broke out, McDonough said.

The fire initially broke out in the back side of the building, in the warehouse where the most wood was. McDonough said strong winds from the south helped the fire spread rapidly, leaving firefighters at a disadvantage when they arrived at the scene.

The flames also caused the warehouse roof to collapse.

The fire department declared a hazmat situation as a precaution the site shortly after 7:30 p.m., due to the unknown nature of the materials burning in the building. The hazmat will remain in place until they have more information on those materials and any risks they could pose.

From the Chicago Tribune:

No injuries were reported in the initial fire, but two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze. Public records list the business as Commercial Pallet.

The blaze that sent plumes of smoke over West Town erupted around 5:50 p.m. after the facility had closed for the day, Chicago Fire District Chief Jim McDonough told reporters Tuesday evening near the still-smoldering scene. The building, which contained 20,000 pallets, was “completely lost,” he said.

A 4-11 alarm is one of the largest responses the department can signal, summoning vast amounts of firefighting personnel, equipment and the fire commissioner. Fire crews responded to a call of pallets on fire in a building supply warehouse, fire officials said.

Flames were visible from the intersection of South Damen and West Hubbard, into the evening hours.


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