PILSEN — A fire broke out at the Pollo Express restaurant at 1315 W. 18th St. Wednesday, a Chicago Fire Department official said.
No one was hurt in the fire, which started around 2:53 p.m. A Chicago Fire Department official could not confirm the fire’s cause, saying it was under investigation.
The restaurant's windows were boarded up Thursday morning.
Just down the street at Alvarez Hardware at 1323 W. 18th St., owner Rudy Alvarez looked out his window Wednesday afternoon and saw several fire trucks racing to the scene.
“Sure enough, it was the chicken place that caught fire,” he said.
According to Alvarez, smoke was pouring out of the building and only a few people were standing around the shop at the time fire trucks arrived.
“Usually around lunchtime that place is always packed,” he said. “I’m just happy no one got hurt.”
Alvarez had his own brush with a fire two years ago when a stray July Fourth firework landed on his shop’s roof.
But he said the buildings to his east actually sustained more damage than his shop during that fire.
Alvarez said he spoke with Pollo Express’s owner on Wednesday and reassured him the fire did not have to mean the end for his business.
“I told the owner, ‘You have everything to be successful again. You have a good clientele that is going to follow you and you’ll do all right,’” Alvarez said.