ALBERS, IL (KMOX)- Investigators are trying to determine if lightning may have sparked the fire that destroyed the large main building of a sawmill and pallet factory in Albers, Illinois.
Clin-Clair Fire Chief Rick Musenbrock tells KMOX that by the time a passerby reported the fire just after midnight, the 100′ by 70′ building was engulfed in flames, “Once we arrived on scene and saw that it was fully involved my main concern was to protect the other buildings because they had other manufacturing buildings that they did other processing.”
In addition to pallet manufacturing space, the building housed offices and a small cafeteria.
Musenbrock says firefighters had to halt the firefight at one point, because of intense lightning in the area, “We actually had to stop fireground operations for a while, because of the intense lightning that was going on around us. I was concerned for the other firefighters’ safety so we just sat down for a while and took cover for about 30 minutes.”
Musenbrock says by that time the fire was mainly under control and he was not worried about it spreading.
The 35 firefighters from six departments were able to keep the flames from spreading to the four neighboring structures on the site.
There were no injuries.
The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause.