Firefighters battle massive hours-long fire at Chicago flea market
Officials say that people were trapped in the northwest of the building, according to Chicago Fire Media. In addition to firefighting crews, ambulances could be seen arriving at the blaze.
Cars fell through the building’s roof deck when it collapsed. The thickest plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the hole left by the collapse.
Report of people trapped in fire building northwest part of building— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016
The building is home to Buyers Flea Market. A sign that on the building claimed the flea market is "Chicagoland's largest" could be seen being engulfed by flames, according to NBC Chicago.
No injuries have been reported so far.
The fire broke out about 9:45 a.m. local time at the two block-long building at 4540 W Division St, authorities said.
Pure defensive now heavy fire load inside. Many vehicles and flammable items all members ordered out. Now "surround and drown"— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016
Most firefighting crews were ordered out of the blaze as they shifted to a strategy to contain the fire.
As of 1:15 p.m., authorities said that the fire was still not under control. The entirety of the flea market building was expected to be lost in the blaze.
Contents of flea market building now burning. May lose all items inside. Fire not under control. Still heavy fire load— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016
The building appears headed to total loss. Structure showing stress.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 8, 2016
Buyers Flea Market is a family-owned business that hosts hundreds of merchants in its indoor market space, according to the company’s website. Vendors at the market sell food, clothing and even used cars, and some opt to use outdoor space adjacent to its building.
The flea market was not open Tuesday, when the blaze hit.