Downtown Galesburg, IL Fire Rages Vacant Building; Neighbors Nex - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Downtown Galesburg, IL Fire Rages Vacant Building; Neighbors Next Door Are Safe

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You can clearly see where crews were battling a fire early this morning in downtown Galesburg. Two vacant businesses were up in smoke, but the miraculous part about this story is that you can hardly see any damage to a flower shop, banquet hall and medical supply store that were all next door.

Will Azer's business, right next to a raging fire, only suffered smoke damage. 

"It was really a bad scene as far as you could hardly see in the building when you walked in the smoke was really awful here," said Azer. 

He owns a medical supply store (Azer Medical Supply) and now is unsure whether he'll be able to save any of his merchandise. 

Azer said healthcare agencies depend on them daily for their supplies. 

"We are trying to take care of people the best we can, but we just haven't been able to take care of people with what we have here not knowing at this point whether we should sell it to them or not," said Azer.

And not just agencies, but individuals, too

"I was concerned for a little bit when Shelly called me and told me they'd be closed for a period time," said customer Bob LaFollette 

Azer said they could order items and have them the next day or he said they'll refer them somewhere else if they can't wait. So Bob will be okay.

"Anytime you have anything in the downtown district, you always worry about the proximity of the buildings that it'll spread into one building and then you're chasing it down a whole city block," said Galesburg Fire Dept. Capt. Jon Cypert. 

Roughly 10 years ago another fire quickly took out two buildings downtown. Now an empty lot.

But today's fire downtown took only 15 minutes to extinguish. 

"There were no firewalls, it was pretty much wide open from 140 all the way down to 156 E Main," said Galesburg Fire Dept. Capt. Randy Hovind. "So the crews did a really good job of getting in there and knocking the fire before it had the chance to spread too much."

For now will Azer said he feels lucky that at least no one was hurt and there was no physical damage to his building. 

"We just have to take it one day at a time," said Azer.

The Galesburg Fire Department tell us they're still investigating the cause of the fire. 

Azer also owns the banquet hall next door, which he said only has smoke damage as well. It's the same for the flower shop, Blossoms on the other side of the fire. 

There was also a house fire in Galesburg last night. It was vacant and no one was hurt.


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