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Second City Theater Offices Destroyed In Massive Fire

By Kate Shepherd in News on Aug 27, 2015 3:37PM

The Second City theater is safe after an extra alarm fire ripped through the building next door to the famous comedy troupe Wednesday afternoon.

The fire destroyed Second City's offices and injured one civilian and four firefighters, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Second City expressed its gratitude to firefighters for "doing a great job handling the fire" in a statement Wednesday night. Although the comedy and improv club's theaters were in good shape, there was some standing water in the lobby and damage along the escalators and stairwells lead to the Second City e.t.c. and Up Comedy Club stages, according to authorities.

The accidental fire started in the Adobo Grill's kitchen at 1612 N. Wells St. and traveled up a vent to the roof, according to CFD spokesman Larry Langford. The fire burned through the roof and firefighters prevented it from spreading to nearby buildings.

Second City had to cancel all shows for Wednesday evening and have yet to release an updated schedule for the rest of the week. Rival improv theatre iO Chicago invited Second City box office staff into their offices so they could call ticketholders, according to Second City actor Adam Ston.

Second City performances will be cancelled again Thursday night, reps said in an email Thursday morning.

"We've cancelled performances and classes tonight. We're taking it day by day now —will hopefully have more information later today or tomorrow morning about future performances," Robin Hammond said in an email. "We're working on office space, but nothing to confirm at this time."

"At one point, I was very anxious," Second City CEO and co-owner Andrew Alexander told the Tribune. "It has gutted our two levels of offices. But we’ll fix it. They advised us to close tonight, but I suspect we will be open tomorrow. The theaters are fine. The most important is that no one is hurt. Thank the Lord."

Institutional archives such as scripts and footage of past shows are stored at an off-site facility but some employees' personal memorabilia was ruined in the blaze, a Second City spokesman told the Tribune.

Fire Department officials Tweeted several photos of Second City's interior after the fire was put out: