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Fire units block downtown street

Chicago Avenue was blocked off between Church and Davis Streets during this afternoon’s rush hour as fire fighters responded the explosion of an electrical transformer.


Chicago Avenue was blocked off between Church and Davis Streets during this afternoon’s rush hour as fire fighters responded the explosion of an electrical transformer.

Fire Division Chief Tom Janetske said the explosion of the transformer in the alley behind the Golden Olympic Family Restaurant at 1608 Chicago Ave. sent smoke through the restaurant.

It also knocked out power to the entire two-story University Building complex on the northwest corner of Chicago and Davis.

Janetske says there was some smoke damage to the building from the incident that was first reported at 4:18 p.m., but that everyone managed to evacuate the building and restaurant safely.

He said that as of about 5:30 p.m. Commonwealth Edison crews were on the scene and that once the electric service was safely shut down, fire units would go back into the building to ventilate the smoke from it.

He estimated that the street could be back open by about 6:30 p.m. if not sooner.

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