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Hot spots remain from fire at storage building

Authorities investigating cause of Tuesday blaze

(Alex T. Paschal/
Firefighters battle the blaze Tuesday on the south side of the vehicle warehouse in Rock Falls.

ROCK FALLS – Some hot spots remained Wednesday from a fire that destroyed a building the day before along U.S. Route 30.

“Quite a bit of shelled corn will be smoldering for 2 or 3 days in the building, but it’s not hurting anything,” Rock Falls Fire Capt. Bill Milby said. “There are several hot spots still in the building, where the roof collapsed.”

Firefighters responded to the blaze about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The building belonged to Doug House, owner of Rock River Cartage, and housed semitrailers and other vehicles, according to the fire department. A number of people rented space there.

County records showed the building was worth $140,000, Milby said.

The Rock Falls Fire Department, the state fire marshal and the owner’s insurance company were investigating the fire Wednesday, speaking with witnesses, including those with items in the building, Milby said. They have yet to identify the cause.

Firefighters were at the site until 3 a.m. Wednesday in “terrible conditions,” Milby said. They fought the blaze in 12-degree weather, with 10 mph winds.

“At this time of year, our gear is a blessing,” Milby said. “It’s heavy and insulating.”

The fire department rotated firefighters to a tent with heaters so that they could warm up.


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