Old Tate Cheese building burns in Valley City - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Old Tate Cheese building burns in Valley City

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VALLEY CITY, Ill. (WGEM) - Eleven fire departments were on the scene of a massive fire Thursday night that destroyed the old Tate Cheese building in Valley City, Illinois.

Griggsville Fire Chief Larry Bradshaw pointed out that he thought the building had been "pretty much vacant" for awhile.

Bradshaw said massive flames were shooting into the air after firefighters arrived. More than half a dozen fire departments joined Griggsville firefighters in battling the fire, which burned well into the night.

"We got the call at 7:41 of smoke in the building," Bradshaw said from the scene.

Bradshaw said since the old cheese factory had been vacant for many years and was scheduled to be torn down soon, firefighters were not sent into the building. Instead, they sprayed water outside the building to keep the fire contained.

"Water was a problem, of course," Bradshaw added. "Being about 5-6 miles to the nearest hydrant. We had to call in departments from several counties away and most of our county to help out shuttling water."

Bradshaw said wind was also an obstacle. The fire briefly spread to a nearby field, but firefighters were able to quickly put it out before it got out of control. .

Tate Cheese was an iconic employer in Pike County, Illinois before the business was eventually sold in 1999.

Valley City is located in Pike County, Illinois, about five miles east of Griggsville. The latest census report lists its population at 13.
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