A fire tore through Uncle Remus & Guilty Pleasurez Bakery at 4731 W. Madison Street at 8:23 a.m. this morning, according to the Chicago Fire Department (CFD).

When The TRiiBE reached out to Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicago, located a few blocks away at 5611 W. Madison Street, restaurant manager Lamont Curtis said that Uncle Remus & Guilty Pleasurez Bakery is not affiliated with the Rickette family chain. 

Uncle Remus & Guilty Pleasurez Bakery is actually owned by Gus Rickette Sr.’s son, Gus Rickette Jr., according to Curtis. 

“That’s his son who owns that one,” Curtis said. “We are not affiliated.”

Firefighters received a call about the blaze at Uncle Remus and Guilty Pleasurez Bakery at 8:23 a.m. on Thursday.

A police officer was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and smoke inhalation, CFD spokesman Larry Langford said. He said firefighters had to use “a couple of hose lines and extinguishers to put the fire out.”

Damage to the building is “significant,” he said.

From blocks away, 31-year-old West Side resident Ronnie Williams could see the smoke from the fire.

“I was riding down Madison when I saw the smoke from like Kostner to almost like Pulaski,” Williams said. “I thought it was just a little flame or something but when I rode past I saw the whole building [was] almost gone.”

When he got closer to the building, he could see that the windows were burned out. The cause of the fire remains unknown, CFD said. 

“I don’t even think they opened that early,” Williams said.

Originally founded as Royal Chicken by Gus W. Rickette Sr. and his wife Mary in the early 1960s, the Rickette’s reopened the restaurant as Uncle Remus in 1968 after the chicken shack burned down during the King uprisings. According to the MacArthur Foundation, the couple was offered an “Uncle Remus” sign for a discounted price, and they adopted the name.

The Rickette’s opened its West Side location — at 5611 W. Madison Street — in 1969, according to the restaurant’s website. Since then, the family chain has added additional locations on the South Side and in the western suburb, Broadview. The Rickette’s daughter, Charmaine, runs the family chain.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for more updates.

is a freelance writer for The TRiiBE.