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Fire causes heavy damage to famous Chicago-area restaurant

August 24, 2018
Firefighters continue to work at the Maple Tree Inn, a historic restaurant that was gutted by fire early Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. The fire started around 2 a.m. in the 13300 block of S. Olde Western in the town's historic district. The Maple Tree Inn was founded in 1975. The popular Louisiana-style restaurant has over the years developed a national reputation and OpenTable ranked it this year as one of the 50 Best Southern Restaurants in America. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune via AP)

BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Officials say a celebrated suburban Chicago restaurant was significantly damaged by an early-morning fire.

Authorities in Blue Island say firefighters were called to the Maple Tree Inn Chicago shortly after 2 a.m. on Friday. The fire spread to an apartment but residents escaped without injury. Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 6 a.m.

Officials say the fire started in the inn’s basement and was likely caused by a ruptured gas line. The owners are pledging to rebuild.

The restaurant was founded in 1975 in Blue Island’s historic district. The Louisiana-style restaurant has developed a national reputation, and OpenTable ranked it this year as one of the 50 Best Southern Restaurants in America.

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