SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Multiple fire companies battled a fire early Friday at the Maple Tree Inn in south suburban Blue Island.
Fire crews responded to the fire about 2:45 a.m. at the 13301 S. Old Western Ave., according to fire officials at the scene. They believed the fire began in the Inn’s basement.
Additional fire companies were called in as the fire spread. Companies from Blue Island, Robbins, Calumet Park, Orland Park, Evergreen Park, South Holland and Chicago could be seen helping.
A ruptured gas line created problems, officials said. A gas company vehicle showed up shortly before 6 a.m. to shut down a gas main.
A firefighter was transported to a hospital with an injured back, officials said.
Blue Island Fire Chief Daniel Reda said the firefighter suffered a minor sprain and was released from the hospital Friday morning.
The main portion of the fire was extinguished by 5:30 a.m., according to officials.
Maple Tree Inn owners, Katie Orr and Erich Wennberg, released a statement Friday morning praising the firefighters and saying no one was hurt.
“While we are devastated emotionally by this tragedy, we want to assure everyone that no person was hurt in the fire,” Orr and Wennberg wrote.
“The Maple Tree Inn has had multiple, successful chapters and there will be many more,” they wrote. “Our team of employees is one of the best ever assembled in our 43 years of business and we will rebuild around them.”
“We want to praise the fire fighters’ swift response and work in keeping our neighboring businesses safe and attempting to preserve the character of the building,” Orr and Wennberg wrote. “The State Fire Marshall is leading the investigation at the moment.”
The Maple Tree Inn has been a Louisiana-style restaurant in Blue Island since 1975, according to its website.
An ad on the website featured a “Barbecue, Brews and Bluegrass” festival scheduled for Sunday.