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Man killed in high-rise parking garage fire in River North identified

The elevator penthouse area where officials say where the fire originated, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Chicago. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Authorities have identified a roofing worker was killed when a fire broke out as they worked on top of a River North parking garage Saturday afternoon, seriously injuring four others, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Terrell Webster, a 47-year-old construction worker, was found dead at the scene, according to fire officials and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. A ruling on the cause and manner of his death was pending further investigation following an autopsy Monday.

The blaze started about 1:20 p.m. in the penthouse elevator area of the Mart Parc Orleans garage at 437 N. Orleans St., fire officials said.

One worker was able to escape the penthouse by the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later, and he directed them to the other workers still inside, according to CFD Battalion Chief Cynthia Herring.

Video by Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Four were rescued and taken to hospitals, all in serious or critical condition. They were all working for a roofing contractor at the time, making preparations from the inside of the structure for winter, Herring said. No one else was hurt.

It took about 15 minutes to put out the flames, Herring said.

Representatives for the company that manages the garage did not return messages seeking comment.

Dozens of emergency vehicles crowded the busy downtown neighborhood as firefighters secured the scene.

The roof of the structure on top of the 10-story garage was charred after crews put out the fire. Videos shared on social media showed plumes of think, black smoke billowing out earlier.

The garage remained closed to drivers for several hours following the fire. The cause is under investigation.