Fire Damaged Illinois Downtown to Be Razed

July 15, 2013
Eight buildings in historic downtown Prophetstown with stores and apartments above were destroyed by a fire that broke out early Monday morning.

July 15--PROPHETSTOWN -- Eight buildings in the 300 block of Washington Street in historic downtown Prophetstown, some with apartments on the upper floors, were destroyed in a fire that broke out around 2:30 a.m.

As of 9:30 a.m., the fire was out, and there were no reports of injuries.

"Everybody got out OK," Prophetstown Municipal Secretary Rhonda Carter said.

Firefighters will remain downtown to keep an eye out for hotspots, and plan to knock down several of the buildings' unstable husks this afternoon.

The buildings were home to some of P-town's most popular businesses, including Cindy Jean's Restaurant, where firefighters said the fire originated.

Among the other businesses lost is D's Variety and Crafts, the Ceramics Center, Twisted Scissors salon, Kim's Monograms, Judge Vicki Wright's office and the town's Historical Society.

All eight buildings may need to be torn down for safety's sake, Mayor Steve Swanson said, adding that it's unlikely those businesses will be able to rebuild.

The fire was so extensive that the city ran out of water and the responding fire departments are pumping water from the Rock River, she said.

A boil order is on for the rest of the town until further notice.

Copyright 2013 - Daily Gazette, Sterling, Ill.

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