Second City reopens, puts on special performance for CFD

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Second City is rising from the ashes Thursday night.

Three weeks after a massive fire destroyed part of the troupe's historic building, the actors are back on stage.

The fire started in the kitchen of a restaurant next door, and it sent smoke billowing from old town over the north side of the city.

But while the fire gutted the Second City offices, Chicago firefighters kept the flames from reaching the theaters and stages.

Now, the troupe is saying thanks with a special benefit show for Chicago firefighters.

Cherise Cardone, a Chicago Firefighter EMT, was there the day the landmark went up in flames.

"It was one of the bigger fires that I've seen," Cardone said.

Upstairs from where the show took place, the rebuilding is underway.

"This is a conference room that led into that old building, the day of the fire, the biggest concern was the fire moving through this conference room and then hitting this building which houses the theaters and everything like that," said Tyler Alexander of VP Marketing.

Alexander was working at Second City the day of the fire.

"This was or is my office. On the other side of this wall is where the fire was and that building is pretty well destroyed," Alexander said.

"I'm very surprised that they're able to get it open this early this portion of it," added John McNicholas, CFD Deputy Fire Commissioner of Operations.

"Any of the other major cities across the United States and I just don't think that a city would rally behind a cultural institution like Chicago has," Alexander said.

Second City opens back up to the general public this week, with Up Comedy Club hosting shows again Tuesday and ETC Theater, the stage with the most damage, starting again Sept 24.