Home Fire News Historic Chicago building gutted by massive multi-alarm fire

Historic Chicago building gutted by massive multi-alarm fire


Liam Ford
Chicago Tribune

An extra-alarm fire that started early Friday in the Roseland neighborhood gutted a former department store building that houses several businesses.

Firefighters were called to the building, the former Gately’s Peoples Store, 11201 S. Michigan Ave., about 3:30 a.m. Friday, and the Fire Department response was elevated to an extra-alarm fire within minutes, according to the department. The fire caused the building’s roof to collapse. It was declared under control about 10:30 a.m., said Larry Merritt, a department spokesman.

A demolition crew was on the scene, Merritt said.

There were no reported injuries.

Crews battled the fire from outside the building. Photos and video from the scene showed firefighters pouring water on the building from the top of firetruck ladders.

A beauty supply store, a clothing store, a hair salon and other businesses have been active at the building — actually several connected buildings built at different times — in recent years. Property records do not indicate the age of the structures.

CTA buses were rerouted in the area, according to the transit agency.

Gately’s originally was known as the Peoples Store and was bought by the Gately family in 1917. Although an early 20th century neon sign identifying the building as the “Gately Peoples” store remained on the building Friday, the original location closed in 1981 after a Tinley Park store was opened. The store went out of business in 1994.

Check back for updates.


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