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Fire In Former American Apparel Store Closed Milwaukee Ave. Wednesday Night

By Alisa Hauser | October 26, 2017 9:44am
 A fire broke out Wednesday night at 1563 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the former American Apparel storefront. No injuries were reported.
Fire At Former American Apparel
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WICKER PARK — A fire broke out in the former Wicker Park American Apparel store and the future home of a new Burton snowboard shop on Wednesday night.

Around 9:52 p.m. Wednesday, Shakespeare District officers helped to close down the 1500 block of Milwaukee Avenue to traffic in response to a fire at 1563 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to Officer Laura Amezaga, a Chicago Police spokeswoman.

Amezaga said when police arrived, firefighters were extinguishing a fire on the first floor of the two-story building. Firefighters determined the blaze was "caused by rubble at the scene and was non-criminal in nature," police said.

No injuries were reported.

The areas damaged by the fire included flooring, ceiling and light fixtures, Amezaga said.

The building's owner Dean Markelos and Burton's landlord referred inquiries to Chris Currier, who is helping Burton to build out its new shop.

"We are not sure exactly [how the fire started]. Something with the remodeling made the fire start and luckily no one was hurt.  It was a small fire and caused a lot of smoke, which made it look worse than it was," Currier said. 

If everything stays on track, Currier said the new store will open on Nov. 16.

The Vermont-based maker of snowboards started by "a godfather" of the sport, was scheduled to relocate its flagship Chicago store from the Gold Coast to Wicker Park this month.

The space has been empty since American Apparel closed in April as part of a massive bankruptcy that shuttered all American Apparel stores.

Fire truck in front of future Burton shop late Wednesday. [Courtesy of Tim Inklebarger]

Fire truck at 1563 N. Milwaukee Ave. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]