Pallet fire in Chicago

A massive blaze at a pallet yard in West Town, Chicago, took firefighters hours to douse on Wednesday evening. The material stored there—dry wood stacked in airy, lightweight columns—is a perfect fast-burning fuel. All it took was a heatwave and a source of ignition, which investigators would very much like to learn more about.

The fire was reported just before 6 p.m., and at 7:30 p.m., a hazmat situation was declared as the fire spread to a warehouse with unknown contents. Crowds gathered to watch; the police dispersed them.

The fire initially broke out in the back side of the building, in the warehouse where the most wood was. McDonough said strong winds from the south helped the fire spread rapidly, leaving firefighters at a disadvantage when they arrived at the scene.

"That fire created its own wind. It was windy enough, but once that fire started rolling, it created its own wind. These guys worked their butts off to keep this thing at its original fire building," McDonough said.

No-one was seriously hurt in the blaze, though two firefighters received minor burns, according to ABC News 7 out of Chicago.

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