- Associated Press - Saturday, June 8, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) - Former patrons are fondly remembering a long-closed Chicago department store, the vestiges of which were destroyed by fire.

Gately’s People’s Store once occupied the building destroyed in a fire early Friday. Chicago Fire Department officials say they haven’t determined what sparked the blaze, which caused the building’s roof to collapse.

Fire Chief Jack Nagle says concerns over the stability of the rest of the structure, which housed three independent shops, prevented investigators from entering.

Gately’s, which opened in 1917, was where residents of Chicago’s Far South Side shopped for everything from school uniforms to Christmas presents until the department store closed in 1981.

Alderman Anthony Beale says he remembers getting on the bus as a kid to shop at the store, where shoppers could find everything they needed.

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