Balena restaurant in Lincoln Park evacuated after fire on roof

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The roof of the building that houses Balena restaurant caught fire Tuesday night in Lincoln Park, causing the evacuation of the popular Italian eatery during the dinner hour. | Fire Media Affairs

A roof fire Tuesday night at a building in Lincoln Park led to the evacuation of a popular Italian restaurant during a busy dinner seating.

“Last night, during a full dinner service, Balena had to be evacuated due to a fire in the building,” the owners posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported about 6:50 p.m. in a four-story building at 1633 N. Halsted and was put out by 9 p.m., according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Balena is on the the first floor of the building.

The roof of the building that houses Balena restaurant caught fire Tuesday night in Lincoln Park. | Fire Media Affairs

The roof of the building that houses Balena restaurant caught fire Tuesday night in Lincoln Park. | Fire Media Affairs

Fire Media said several people left the restaurant about the time the fire was reported, and no one was found inside when the building was searched.

Firefighters continued to douse the roof with water after the fire was struck and remained at the scene.

No injuries were reported, Fire Media said, and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

“From what we know right now, it appears to have been an electrical fire that was started in the ceiling,” the owners wrote on Facebook. “The most important thing is that no one was injured, and everyone was evacuated from the building safely.”

They said the “damage looks fairly extensive in the kitchen, upstairs dining room and main dining room, however we’re hoping to have Balena reopened as soon as possible.”

Balena employees will be immediately reassigned to other establishment in the Boka Restaurant Group and B. Hospitality Co., the owners said.

They thanked the Chicago Police and Fire departments for their “immediate response to our 911 call, and for helping to extinguish the fire in a safe and efficient manner.”

Reservations can be rescheduled at other group restaurants by calling (312) 238-9896.

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