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Industrial Blaze burns in Carlinville

An early morning photo of the scene shows the extent of flames and smoke the 18 fire departments who responded to the Fire Call on University Street had to fight. Photo contributed.

 

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

A large industrial fire broke out at 14855 University Street in the early hours of Easter monring (March 31).  A call to emergency services was placed at 3:55 a.m.

Carlinville Fire Department Chief Jess McKee established defensive operations and began requests for mutual aid.

Departments from Girard, Virden, Staunotn, Litchifedl, Bunekr Hill, Northwestern, Auburn, Gillespie, Benld, Raymond, Mt. Olive, Farmersville-Waggoner, Nokomis, Medora, Witt, and Greenfield were on scene providing water tenders, ladder trucks and engines. The Fire Departments drained both water towers in Carlinville as Schien Water Tower, closest to the fire is out of order currently. Teams also pumped water from Carlinville Lake throughout the day to fight the fire. The flame was thought to be under control and fire departments began leaving the scene around noon.

A view of the building soon after the fire began on Sunday morning. Photo contributed.

Later that day, as the Fire Department continued to work to clear the scene and a fire investigation began, a small fire was discovered in a warehouse structure on the south side of the two-acre complex. As firefighters worked to extinguish the flame, a large gust of wind blew from the east, causing the fire to quickly grow and the building was soon engulfed in flames. Mutual aid resources were again requested at 3:18 p.m.

An overhead view of the fire after the flame rekindled around 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Photo contributed.

 

The Carlinville Fire Protection District stated that many of the volunteers on scene saw the sun rise and set while battling the fire. Besides mutual aid from neighboring departments, many local groups and individuals provided food and water to the workers on scene, as well as several business owners providing equipment and local land owners providing water to fight the fire.

The two-acre building used to store many people’s and business’s property was completely destroyed during the March 31 fire. Photo contributed.

There have been no injuries reported during the intense battle. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshall.