BUSHNELL, Ill. (WGEM) -- The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating into the cause of an overnight fire that completely destroyed a downtown Bushnell restaurant.
The Brickhouse restaurant in the 400 block of West Main Street was bulldozed down Thursday morning after fire completely destroyed it overnight. Firefighters from four fire departments helped fight the blaze. Crews were called to the scene around 12:30 am, and it took them several hours to contain the fire. They remained on the scene for most of the day fighting off hot spots.
No one was injured, but some surrounding buildings are got significant smoke and water damage.
"I was in bed and at about 12:15 AM my wife received a phone call from a friend of ours that said she heard on the scanner that the restaurant which is The Brick House next to mine was on fire and that it appeared it had already moved over into our law office," said Craig Pierce, the attorney who owns the law offices next door.
Books and files are strewn about what is left of Pierce's law office. The ground is soaked from water damage, furniture is destroyed, and priceless antiques are lost. Most items are not salvageable.
"Luckily I was able to contain in my fireproof cabinets, most of my files are intact, we can read a lot of them. We have absolutely no computer system, five computers and two portable computers all waterlogged," said Pierce.
Firefighters say the fire was difficult to contain because the buildings are close together, and the wood is old and very dry.
"You can see with the front of them they have had false facades put on them and there are very few windows which it makes it very tough," said Bushnell Fire Chief Brent Glisan. "You can only fight the blaze from two different directions but the tricky thing about that is whichever direction you fight it from you're going to push it the other way," said Glisan.
Pierce says the situation is overwhelming but he is thankful no one was injured.
"We have Mrs. Lodgson that lives above the furniture store, she was carried out by somebody and there are a couple renters to the right of my office and no one got hurt," said Pierce.
Firefighters say its the responsibility of the property owner to clear the debris and they say there is not time line set yet for when that will be done.
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