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Raw Video - Fire Sweeps Through Chicago Office Building

Gusty winds fanned an extra-alarm fire that took crews over three hours to control at a building in the South Loop early Tuesday.

The fire broke out around 3:20 a.m. at 1326 S. Michigan Ave.

Flames ripped through the roof of the building, a condition which prompted a 2-11 alarm, according to Fire Media Chief Kevin MacGregor. The fire was later upgraded further to a 3-11 alarm.

The fire started in the space between the ceiling and roof of the building, MacGregor said. Parts of the building were under renovation.

The flames were heaviest in the rear of the building and destroyed most of the roof, according to MacGregor.

About 80 firefighters were on the scene MacGregor said.

"There is a considerable amount of fire and we've got numerous lines on the fire from various different angles," MacGregor said.

As winds blowing from the south fanned the fire, officials warned people to stay south of 14th Street on Michigan Avenue, MacGregor said.

"The wind is definitely making it harder to fight the fire," MacGregor said.

Winds averaged about 20 mph during the morning hours in Chicago.

Several CTA bus routes -- including bus Nos. 1, 3, 4, 12, and 129 -- were rerouted as roads were remained closed into the morning rush hour.

Commuters on Lake Shore Drive also reported smelling the fire.

People in the neighborhood were awakened by the commotion.

"This is horrible," a witness said. "It's blowing out all around; smoke in my eyes. You can't really see anything at all."

There are several residential high-rise buildings in the area, however no evacuations were ordered as of 6 a.m., MacGregor said.

ComEd has shut down power to building, MacGregor said. Representatives from People's Gas are also on the scene.

The architectural and urban planning firm Campbell Tiu Campbell & Associates, the non-profit youth advocacy group Urban Solutions, and the real estate agency City Life Properties are among the businesses and organizations listed with offices in the building.

The building was reportedly up for sale.

It is not believed anyone was inside, and no injuries were reported.

By 6:40 a.m., fire officials said the blaze was under control.

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Added: Sep-8-2010 Occurred On: Sep-7-2010
By: jbpnw
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Tags: caught on tape, raw video, fire, office building, chicago
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