Storm gouges hole in wall of Grossinger Toyota dealership in Lincoln Park


CHICAGO (CBS) — Monday’s powerful thunderstorm ripped a massive hole in the side of a Lincoln Park auto dealership when high winds crumbled the concrete wall.

A gaping hole was left in the three-story wall of Grossinger Toyota, at 1561 N. Fremont St.

People who live in a building overlooking the dealership said the wall just crumbled in the storm.

“The rain was blowing in like a circular motion. It wasn’t just one direction,” Ally Dunklau said.

Dunklau said that was the scene from her window just minutes before part of Grossinger Toyota’s wall collapsed.

“All of a sudden, a group of my friends were just like, ‘Holy crap, it looks like there was some sort of wind tunnel blowing, and then all of a sudden the entire wall just … all the bricks flew off, and this paper flew out. Like everything flew out from it, and we were like, ‘What just happened?'” she said.

It happened in a matter of seconds, and in a matter of minutes came a big emergency response, in part to make sure no other sections of the wall would come tumbling down.

Chicago Fire Department District Chief Thomas Carbonneau said the damaged wall used to be attached to another building, a likely factor in its collapse.

“We think what happened was, because this building next door was tore down quite some time [ago], and it shouldn’t be an exterior wall, that the wind got to it, it rained over the years, and that was probably what caused it to fail,” he said.

Carbonneau said there was also minor damage inside the dealership. The Buildings Department will be investigating.

No injuries were reported.

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