Prophetstown Fire: A Walkthrough - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Prophetstown Fire: A Walkthrough

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The fire devastated downtown Prophetstown and that's the word uttered over and over; devastation. Eight buildings, six are a complete loss and two more have smoke damage.
     
The downtown was vibrant and the community today mourned the loss and are still trying to make sense of it all.
     
It will likely be a night those in Prophetstown never forget. A community staple, Cindy Jean's Restaurant, was on fire and spreading fast. KWQC crews could see the flames from the interstate. 

"You always worry about it because of the older buildings," said former Prophetstown fire chief David Fisk. "There's no fire stops. It just goes from attic to attic. Straight through."
     
When fire crews got on the scene, they knew they needed help and fast.

"All I know is that I called for more help, more help and more help," said Prophetstown fire chief Keith Crady.
     
From Clinton to Lee County from Carroll to Henry, they all came to the scene. Too many trucks to count all putting water on the downtown until the water started running out.

"It got to the point where I said give me 10 tankers," said Crady. "I don't know where they come from but I said give me 10."
     
The fire drained the water tower and the tower in neighboring Lyndon. Eventually they had to go to the river.

"The river was the biggest help," said Crady. "We put two trucks down at the Prophetstown State Park."
     
What happened next was a testament to the people of Prophetstown.

"My neighbor's on EMT and he knew I had this," said Greg Schmitt, pointing out a water tank. "I've been filling my swimming pool and he's like you got your tank full and I said sure and I brought it in."
     
Farmer Greg Schmitt, tankers from Rock River Lumber and Grain Company and others started pulling into the downtown  helping anyway they can.

"It seems like my home town so I'll do whatever needs to be done," said Schmitt.
     
All to try and save a place that's made a name for itself.

"Prophetstown has had several awards from Illinois Main Street and they've always done a great job keeping businesses in town," said Mayor Steve Swanson.

 

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