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Chicago's Freezing Fire

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On Tuesday night, a huge vacant warehouse on Chicago's South Side went up in flames. Fire department officials said it was the biggest blaze the department has had to battle in years and one-third of all Chicago firefighters were on the scene at one point or another trying to put out the flames. Complicating the scene was the weather -- temperatures were well below freezing and the spray from the fire hoses encased everything below in ice, including buildings, vehicles, and some firefighting gear. The warehouse was gutted, but the fire was contained. Fire crews remain on the scene as some smaller flare-ups continue to need attention. [16 photos]

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A truck is covered in ice as firefighters work to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse in Chicago, Illinois, on January 23, 2013. More than 200 firefighters battled the five-alarm fire as temperatures were in the single digits. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A truck is covered in ice as firefighters work to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse in Chicago, Illinois, on January 23, 2013. More than 200 firefighters battled the five-alarm fire as temperatures were in the single digits. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Chicago firefighters battle a five-alarm blaze in single digit temperatures at a warehouse on the city's South Side, Bridgeport neighborhood, on January 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) #
Icicles form on a fire hose as Chicago firefighters battle a five-alarm blaze in a warehouse on the city's South Side, on January 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) #
A Chicago firefighter's helmet, covered with ice while fighting a warehouse fire on January 23, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) #
Firefighters work to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse on January 23, 2013. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
Firefighters spray down hot spots on an ice covered warehouse that caught fire on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
Firefighters assess the scene of an ice-covered warehouse that caught fire Tuesday night, in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
An ice-encrusted truck is blanketed in smoke after a warehouse fire in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
Firefighters spray down hot spots on a warehouse that caught fire in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
Firefighters continue battling a massive warehouse fire on January 23, 2013 in Chicago, that officials say is one of the largest fires in recent years. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) #
Smoke moves over icy trucks behind a firefighter at a vacant warehouse fire, on January 23, 2013 in Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
Ice-covered trucks and barrels are blanketed in smoke after a warehouse fire in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
A truck sits encased in ice after a warehouse fire in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
Ice formations jut out from the walls of the warehouse that had burned the night before. Firehoses spraying water on the building for hours in freezing temperatures built up ice structures on every surface. (Reuters/John Gress) #
A truck is encased in ice, after a warehouse fire in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #
Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Charley De Jesus walks around an ice-covered warehouse that caught fire in Chicago, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/John Gress) #

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