Fire rips through Lakeview East apartment building

Crews battled a raging fire at a Lakeview East apartment building on Tuesday afternoon.

Dramatic video from neighbors shows flames shooting from the back of the building as firefighters rushed to the scene.

The three-story building was left heavily damaged as a result of the fire.

Now, residents, who were not able to stay in the building overnight, are trying to pick up the pieces.

Just after 5 p.m., the fire stopped traffic at Broadway and Wellington.

"Of course, I heard the fire engines, and you could see the black smoke, so I parked the car, and the building was completely engulfed," said Paul Loaiza, owner, Monsignor Murphy's.

Loaiza, who owns the neighborhood staple Monsignor Murphy's, arrived at his parking deck around 5:15 p.m. and captured the blaze on cellphone video.

Officials tells FOX 32 Chicago that while the cause of the fire is under investigation, it originated in the back of the building. Several back porches were seen engulfed in flames.

"And that's like an entrance to the roof," said Loaiza.

An enclosed staircase, as Loaiza pointed out, was completely torched during the fire.

Plus, the business owner tells FOX 32 Chicago that this isn't the first time the building has caught on fire. He says that several years back a fire forced the owners to gut the building and renovate.

"Happy no one got hurt," said Loaiza.

Late Tuesday night, restoration and board-up crews were still at the building. The extent of the interior damage has not been disclosed, but FOX 32 Chicago is told that some units suffered water and smoke damage.

Unclear when they can return, tenants said they planned to spend the night with relatives or friends.

The investigation is ongoing.

The apartment building, called The Georgia, is home to 8 units, according to online rental listings. It was originally built in 1906.