Four-alarm blaze destroys stores in West Ridge strip mall - New York News

PHOTOS: Four-alarm blaze destroys stores in West Ridge strip mall

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Credit: Jonathan Guel Credit: Jonathan Guel
Credit: Jonathan Guel Credit: Jonathan Guel
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

No one was injured in a four-alarm fire that destroyed three stores in a Northwest Side strip mall Friday.

The fire started right after roofers started working on an optical store at Albany and Peterson, fire officials said.

The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. at the For Eyes, 3100 West Peterson Ave., officials said.

The blaze then spread to the neighboring American Mattress and Mid-America furniture stores, officials said.

All three businesses were destroyed as the 207 firefighters battled the flames.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control about 6 p.m.

When firefighters initially came to the For Eyes, the fire was "raging inside," Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. And as soon as the mattresses caught on fire, the flames grew extremely heavy, Langford said.

"They couldn't fight it. They fought it externally," Langford said of the firefighters' efforts.

The firewall kept the fire from spreading to another section of the strip mall, Langford said.

Roofers using torches were working at the building before the fire started, but the cause of the fire remains under investigation Friday night, Fire Media Affairs said.

Due to activity related to the fire, traffic was at a standstill at Peterson and Jersey Friday evening.

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