Firefighters battle extra-alarm blaze at Harvey strip mall

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Four stores were gutted Thursday afternoon when an extra-alarm fire broke out at a strip mall in south suburban Harvey.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at the strip mall on East 154th Street, between Broadway Avenue and Park Court, shortly before 5 p.m., according to city spokesman Sean Howard.

The strip mall housed City Sports, a jewelry store, a pawn shop and a fourth merchant, Howard said, adding that the building was for sale.

The blaze started in the strip mall’s basement and the stores were evacuated, Howard said. No injuries were reported.

Chicago Fire Department firefighters were dispatched to provide high expansion foam to assist in suppressing the fire, fire officials said. But by the time CFD arrived, “it was too late, the whole building basically collapsed,” Howard said.

Fire officials said the building was a total loss.

As of 7:30 p.m., traffic was diverted between East 153rd and East 156th streets, from Broadway to Park, Howard said.