Thursday, June 29, 2017

Abandoned grain elevators catch massive fire in Georgetown, Illinois

GEORGETOWN, ILL. (WCCU) — The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating a fire that sent heat waves around Georgetown Wednesday.

As fire crews raced to the scene, flames climbed the old grain elevator.

“The two elevator structures are concrete, so a lot of the heat is inside of it,” Georgetown Volunteer Firefighter, Easton Hoskins said. “And very little heat gets to escape so the heat builds up and builds up.”

Volunteer firefighters were the first to arrive on the scene, and several neighboring departments sent out crews soon after.

“It’s one of the hottest fires I’ve been to,” Hoskins said. “That wood is so old, and so dry, it burned real hot.”

The wood building between the concrete silos was the first to fall, and it took crews more than eight hours to put out the blaze.

The grain elevator hasn’t been used in 20 years, the owner only bought the property as a place to park his trucks.

The owner said the building didn’t have power, something investigators will factor in as they begin to search for what caused the fire.


Cause of Georgetown Grain Elevator Fire Probed

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in trying to determine what caused a blaze that swept through an abandoned grain elevator facility in Georgetown Wednesday morning. Georgetown Firefighters say brisk winds were one of their main concerns as they evacuated over a half-dozen homes near the fire scene.

Firefighters from a half-dozen departments…including an aerial truck from Danville…took part in battling the flames. There were no injuries, but firefighters were on the scene for over four hours.

Units from the Westville and Ridge Farm Fire Departments responded originally with Georgetown under an automatic mutual aid agreement. Then others were summoned…including Lynch and Danville.

Although the investigation into the cause is continuing, preliminary reports from the Georgetown Fire Department indicate the blaze is believed to have started in a building on the ground level that was attached to the two huge silos. A neighbor said the complex has been vacant for well over twenty years.

Danville Firefighters were able to get up above the two tall silos in order to dump thousands of gallons of water down onto the fire. Those silos on Georgetown’s west side, still stood after the fire was doused.

The location where the fire occurred is about a block northwest of the Mary Miller Junior High School in Georgetown.