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Weekend Blaze That Destroyed Two Restaurants, Injured Two, Rekindled Monday

By Heather Cherone | January 27, 2014 5:37pm
  Nine apartments and two restaurants were destroyed in the Sunday night blaze.
Blaze Destroys Two Restaurants, Injures Woman and 2-year-old Son
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PORTAGE PARK — The cause of a Sunday night blaze that destroyed two businesses, forced nine people from their homes and injured two people, including a 2-year-old boy, is undetermined, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said Monday.

It took 125 firefighters 2½ hours to put out the fire at 5601 W. Irving Park Road near Portage Park, a Fire Department spokesman said. Despite the frigid conditions that hampered firefighting efforts, the blaze rekindled twice Monday, officials said.

A woman and her 2-year-old son were taken to Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center in stable condition suffering from smoke inhalation, officials said. Their injuries were not expected to be life-threatening.

Four adults and five children were displaced by the fire, with several of them taking shelter in a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store before warming buses were brought to the scene, officials and witnesses said.

The fire started in the Taquería Amigo Chino restaurant on the first floor and spread to apartments on the second floor of the two-story business, officials said. Known for its huge portions of Mexican food, the taquería often had a line of customers out of the door.

Hog Dog Central, which is in the same building but with an address of 3944 N. Central Ave., is also closed indefinitely because of the fire, according to a note posted on the restaurant's Facebook page.

A Fire Department spokesman said he could not estimate the amount of damage caused by the fire.

Daniel O'Brien, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, said he could not confirm a Tribune report that two officers searching the building rescued a woman who was reluctant to leave her apartment.