The historic apartment building at 5167 South Street caught fire Tuesday morning and firefighters will spend most of the day working to put out the blaze.
The building, more than 100 years old, caught fire at about 8 a.m. Multiple residents reported the fire alarm did not go off for some time but everyone was evacuated without harm.
At least one of the 21 apartment units was engulfed in flames. Restaurants Taj Mahal, Tomasino’s, Thai Chin and Café Chiante are all attached to the building. Fire officials couldn’t yet say how much damage they sustained.
About 40 firefighters spent several hours trying to keep the fire from spreading horizontally. While the building did contain old fire walls, they had begun to spread across the unbarricaded attic.
Many residents, most in their 20s and 30s, stood outside in the cold watching the fire. Some wore only pajama pants and slippers. Several reported having no insurance.
The nearby Westin Hotel provided the displaced residents with room and food and is offering them each a free room for the night.