The Olney Fire Department responded to a fire at the Old Kralis Poultry Company building at 3:04 P.M on Tuesday April 19th.
Upon first responders arrival, there was fire venting through the roof in the middle of the structure.
Firefighters met intense heat as they progressed throughout the structure to extinguish the blaze.
The building had been remodeled several times over the years and presented many rooms and voids. It was currently being used to store boats and water well drilling equipment, and it was also used as a wood working shop.
At 3:22 pm, officers on scene reported a large explosion in the building. The explosion could be heard over 15 blocks away at the local hospital. Smoke from the incident was visible from cities as far away as 20 miles.
At 3:41 pm, an evacuation was ordered for all firefighters to leave the building due to the imminent collapse of the rest of the roof. Rail traffic was interrupted temporarily due to the fire being immediately adjacent to the CSX Railroad line running through Olney. Power was interrupted to a portion of Olney when officials deemed the high voltage lines running next to the building to be a hazard.
Firefighters were on scene for approximately 6 hours with assistance from the Noble/Wakefield and Claremont Fire Departments.
Approximately 50 firefighters and 10 apparatus were utilized to battle the blaze.
The structure was a complete loss and the cause is still under investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal of Illinois.