Northbrook Photographer Captures Massive Chicago Fire

Northbrook fire photographer, Tim Olk, shares some photos of the five-alarm blaze that destroyed an abandoned Chicago warehouse last week.

The structure has been dubbed the ice castle — little remains of the century old Pullman Couch Company warehouse on the 3800 block of south Ashland Ave. in Chicago after a devestating fire tore up the building last week. 

Tim Olk, a photographer from Northbrook who takes photos for Chicago-area fire departments, was at the scene after the fire broke on Tuesday night, and spent the next few days coming back, documenting the aftermath.  

"I've never seen anything like that," Olk said. He's been taking fire photos for 30 years. 

"It was challenging," he said. "It was so cold, all the roads were frozen. When you got wet, it turned to ice right away."

Olk's photos can be found on his website, www.olkee.smugmug.com.  

It took almost one-third of Chicago's total firefighting crews to control the flames, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

According to the Sun-Times, it's one of the biggest "since the December 2004 blaze in the 100 block of S. La Salle Street."

Investigators think the fire might have started by human hands, maybe even squatters occupying the abandoned building trying to stay warm, according to ABC 7.

Bobby Halton of Fire Engineering Magazine called Olk, "one of the most talented fire photographers in America today."

Paul Rutkowski January 28, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Good Job Olkie
Harry Gio January 28, 2013 at 02:43 PM


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