IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Rooftop fire causes Chicago high-rise scare

Chicago Building Fire
Smoke pours from the top of a high-rise building just west of the Chicago River on Wednesday.Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Fire broke out on the roof of a 45-story office building Wednesday, sending some workers fleeing into the downtown streets.

Firefighters contained the flames on the roof and said the blaze posed no danger to occupants. It was extinguished in two hours and damaged only the building’s exterior.

Authorities did not call for an evacuation, but were assisting people who wanted to come out.

District Fire Chief Gregory Lewis would not discuss a possible cause, saying it was under investigation.

Two people who descended the stairs were hospitalized for exhaustion, Lewis said. Emergency workers were checking other people as a precaution.

Rhonda Johnson said she was on the 44th floor when co-workers noticed smoke outside the building. They didn’t know where the smoke was coming from, she said. “There was no noise.”

Johnson said she took an elevator to the ground floor, where she saw firefighters rushing inside.

The building, just west of the Chicago River, has several commercial tenants, an Italian restaurant, a parking garage and a child care center. Several children were led out of the building shortly after the smoke was reported.