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Second City Cancels Shows As Cleanup From Massive Fire Continues

By Mina Bloom | August 31, 2015 11:01am
 Second City Fire
Second City Fire
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OLD TOWN — In the wake of a massive fire last week that destroyed Second City's offices, the improv institution has decided to cancel all performances this week to continue cleaning up after the blaze.

Second City is aiming to resume performances Sept. 7.

Most classes held in Second City's training center will be canceled Monday and Tuesday, but should resume on campus in Piper's Alley by Wednesday, according to Second City spokeswoman Robin Hammond. Students will be updated via email, Facebook and their website.

Last Wednesday Second City's offices were destroyed in an extra-alarm blaze that started as a grease fire in the kitchen of Adobo Grill, which is on the ground floor of the historic building at 1612 N. Wells St. Though the theaters were spared from major water and smoke damage, the area around the lobby and escalators were left in "rough shape," according to Tyler Alexander, Second City's vice president of digital media and the son of owner Andrew Alexander.

 Damages to the area near Second City's theater per the Chicago Fire Department.
Damages to the area near Second City's theater per the Chicago Fire Department.
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For more than three hours, firefighters battled the blaze which left three people, including two firefighters, with minor injuries.

"It could've easily taken out the whole block, but they kept it to one building," John Moloznik, general manager of the running store next door, Fleet Feet, 1620 N. Wells St., previously told DNAinfo Chicago.

Most of Second City's historical memorabilia is stored off-site except for its collection of Bill Utterback's famous caricatures, which was largely spared.

Since the fire, comedy clubs and other institutions across the city have shown support by offering performance space. Second City shows have been held at Cards Against Humanity, Stage 773, The Steppenwolf and The Public House Theatre. Classes have been held everywhere from Annoyance Theatre & Bar and The ComedySportz Theatre to The Onion's offices and Lincoln Park Zoo.

iO Theater came to Second City's rescue the night of the blaze, offering its space for box office workers. HotTix also offered its space.

Second City is planning to put on a benefit performance to thank the Chicago Fire Department for sparing its theater. 

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