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Fire At Former Sun-Times Building Extinguished

A fire is extinguished about an hour and a half after breaking out at Trump Tower, the former Sun-Times building being redeveloped under the leadership of Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice" winner.
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No one was hurt in a fire Wednesday morning at the former Chicago Sun-Times building, which is being demolished to make way for a 90-story condominium and hotel tower developed by real estate mogul Donald Trump. Images:Trump Tower Fire

The blaze, which apparently started in the building's ventilation system and was fueled by insulation in ductwork, burned for about an hour and a half before firefighters struck it out at 10:24 a.m., fire officials said. A total of 125 firefighters worked on the blaze, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. One firefighter was overcome by smoke and got oxygen at the scene, Langford said. It was initially unclear where in the ventilation system the fire started, Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter said.

The Sun-Times occupied the building just off of Chicago's Magnificent Mile from 1958 until October, when staff moved to new offices a few blocks west.

Traffic was blocked off on Upper and Lower Wacker Drive because of the fire.

Several firefighters could be seen breaking windows from inside the building on the second and third floors. At least two firefighters were using a fire ladder to break windows on the top floor of the six-floor building.

'The Apprentice'

"The Apprentice," Chicagoan Bill Rancic, is in charge of developing Trump Tower Chicago. It will replace a building that, as the story goes, was supposed to look like a river barge and is arguably the ugliest building in a city known for its soaring, elegant architecture.

The building is a big part of the history of Chicago journalism. Legendary newsman Mike Royko worked there. So did Ann Landers. Bill Mauldin was working there when he drew one of the most enduring editorial cartoons, that of the Abraham Lincoln statue from the Lincoln memorial grieving the assassination of President Kennedy.

Bill Rancic Hired As Trump's Apprentice

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