Crossville, Ill. (WEHT)- A long night has turned into a day of reckoning for the small community of Crossville, Illinois. Firefighters were still putting out hotspots nearly 24 hours after a massive fire.
The surrounding businesses are left to deal with the aftermath.
“It’s sad- lots of memories there. It’s sad that it’s gone,” said Chris Birkla, the general manager of Crossville Communications.
Chris Birkla saw the fire- and the building that had been in her family since the 1900’s burn.
“It has been a grocery and department store that my grandfather and great grandfather ran,” she said.
Calls for the fire at the old Rawlinson store on Main Street came in around 5:30 Thursday night. Birkla says the blaze spread fast.
“I started taking pictures at 5:21- and it was burnt down by 6:00,” she said.
Birkla says her building will likely have to be replaced.
“It’s hard to say- we had a lot of copper cable in there. Very expensive equipment. It’s hard to tell what can be salvaged,” Birkla said.
She is not the only business owner affected by the fire. Flames also heavily damaged Citizens National Bank next door.
Jan Ridgely says he was already home when he got the call about the fire,
“By the time I got here- it was already starting to get under control. The fire departments did a wonderful job,” said Jan Ridgely, President of Citizens National Bank.
The bank sustained heavy damage. During the fire, the wall from the burning building fell on its roof.
“The west 3rd of our building. You just look up and see sky,” he said.
Bank officials are still assessing damage. In the meantime- Ridgely says their main focus is on their customers.
“Our job when you have situations like this is to protect your data and protect the integrity of the customers,” he said.
The bank has arranged to get a mobile unit in place within the next 72 hours to continue serving customers.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.