Instead of delicious cocoa, Chicagoans caught a strong whiff of smoke emanating from the Fulton River District’s famous Blommer Chocolate Company as the building caught fire this afternoon. Visible flames poured out of a rooftop chimney and spread to a nearby cooling tower at the 600 W. Kinzie facility, triggering a box alarm around roughly 1:50 p.m.
While flames can no longer be seen rising up from Blommer’s roof, crews are still working to vent smoke from the building as firefighters on top of the structure hack their way into the factory with axes. According to the Chicago Sun-Times no injuries have been reported and there has been no confirmation on what caused the blaze.
For more than 75 years, the Blommer factory has routinely flooded downtown Chicago with a rich chocolatey scent. The phenomenon even prompted the creation of a Daily Chocolate Smell Map that used wind data to predict where Chicagoans could expect to take in the facility’s cocoa aroma. The forecast, however, was last updated in early 2015.
Today’s fire is the second incident to strike the building this month. On November 3rd, an overheating piece of equipment lead to a small fire on the fourth floor, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The 2 11 at 400 north JEFFERSON is struck out. Crews checking for extension all employees accounted for and safe. Media staging SW corner from building— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) November 14, 2017
Official address of fire building Blommer chocolate 600 West Kinzie street. Cfd using fans to pull smoke out crews going in rehab and rotation.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) November 14, 2017
- Cooling tower burning on roof of Blommer Chocolate Factory [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Previous Fulton River District coverage [Curbed Chicago]