October 10, 2008

River Pilings Catch Fire Near Chicago Loop

About 40 wooden pilings caught fire in the Chicago River near the Loop Friday, cloaking the area with a heavy gray fog and disrupting rush-hour traffic.

The fire broke out about 6:45 a.m, its origin unknown. There were no injuries reported, the Chicago Tribune said.

The State Street bridge was closed as a Chicago Fire Department boat and others watered down the area near State Street and Wacker Drive.

The pilings appeared to be protected by a metal and concrete casing, which was making it difficult to get water on the flames. Firefighters tried to use a crane on a nearby barge to remove that casing.