Fire breaks out downtown

Latest: 12:02 pm
BROADLANDS -- The State Fire Marshal is investigating a fire which destroyed a building downtown. It started about 2 am, Monday, in the 100-block of South Lincoln. WCIA-3's Jillian Deam has more from the site.

Crews worked all morning to stop the fire from spreading. As Ron Renfrow looks at this pile of rubble, he says it's hard to believe how drastically things changed in a matter of hours.

"Flames were shooting out of the top and the back building was already gone, flat."

He woke up to a phone call letting him know the building he owns downtown caught fire.

"And it just burned everything. I had furniture in there, tools, bedding, old quilts. $2,000 worth of horse tact."

A building he used for storage and shared with others.

"A guy, he's storing a trailer, and it burned his trailer."

But Ron says he knows it would have burned through much more without teamwork from a dozen fire departments.

"They had to knock the walls down. I was afraid it was going to fall over on people."

"We do what's called a box alarm. It's pre-planned with departments. We were called for manpower and tankers from Villa Grove."

"Then they had to call Savoy for their ladder truck to get an aerial shot into the top. The aerial, right now, is pumping 15 - 18 gallons a minute."

As the water pours in, firefighters have to rely on port-a-tanks to bring in water from the river to use to put out the flames.

"We're filling tankers from a block away."

"A lot of effort was put in to contain it to this building."

The effort paid off. Everyone is safe and crews kept the fire from spreading to other buildings.

"We can turn small town departments into big departments because everyone comes running when we call."

While Ron has watched countless items go up in smoke, he says he still feels very thankful.

"I'm just glad no one got hurt."

A firefighter did cut his hand while breaking through a window. He's been treated and is okay. No word on a cause.

Update: 11:00 am

BROADLANDS -- A firefighter suffered a cut to his hand while breaking a window during an early morning fire. It started before 2 am in the 100-block of South Lincoln.

A dozen departments were called to help. Crews had to pump water from the river. It took them more than four hours to extinguish the blaze.

The owner of the building said it was just used for storage with just tools and a trailer inside. The cause of the fire is being investigated. The building is a total loss.

Original: 6:09 am
BROADLANDS -- Crews are on the scene of a fire downtown. It started about 2 am Monday near the 100-block of South Lincoln. There are currently no reports of injuries. We'll update this story as more information becomes available. 

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