For more than an hour, firefighters pumped 3,000 gallons of water per minute on a South Banker Street fire that broke out in a commercial building at about 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday, according the Effingham Fire Department. No injuries were reported.
"Engine 576, Squad 561, Truck 552, and Chief 500 were dispatched to a reported commercial building fire at 2301 S. Banker Street," the department said in a press release. "While enroute, dispatch advised numerous 9-1-1 calls were coming in stating there was a large building on fire.
"The alarm was upgraded to a Full Still adding Tower 551, Engine 575, Teutopolis FPD Engine 673, and Abbott EMS all to the scene, Watson FPD Engine and Chief change of quarters to Station #3 and Montrose FPD Engine change of quarters to Station #1.
"Upon arrival, the first arriving Engine reported heavy fire conditions through the roof with two building exposures. Engine 576 began a defensive operation with their monitor. Squad 561 laid a 5' supply line from the first hydrant to Engine 576.
"At 22:33 hours, the alarm was upgraded to Box 50-18 which added Watson FPD, Montrose FPD, Shumway FPD, Altamont FPD with Engines to the scene, Vandalia FD with a Truck, Abbott EMS with a second ambulance, Montrose FPD and Watson FPD with Chiefs, City EMA, Red Cross Canteen, and Air 54 all to the scene, Edgewood FPD and Altamont FPD with an Engine change of quarters and Altamont FPD with a Chief change of quarters.
"Truck 552 and Tower 551 each laid 5" supply line from the hydrant at Hoffman Drive & Banker Street (Route 45) which shut down all lanes on Route 45. Effingham PD along with ISP and Effingham County Sheriff detoured all traffic. Tower 551 & Truck 552 then set up on the north side of the building for aerial operations.
"Teutopolis FPD Engine 673 supplied the 5" line from the hydrant to Tower 551. A third hydrant was tagged on the southwest side by Watson FPD Engine and utilized their monitor to protect the exposures.
"For over an hour, more than 3,000 gallons a minute were being deployed on the fire. AMEREN was contacted for down live power lines running the entire east face of the fire building which hampered operations until the power could be shut down. AMEREN also secured the gas feed to the buildings.
"Effingham Public Works was contacted to increase water pressure to meet the demands of the fire. At 23:46 hours, a 2-11 Alarm was called on Box 50-18 adding Edgewood FPD, Altamont FPD, Beecher City FPD, Stewardson FPD with Engines to the scene, Olney FD and Altamont FPD with Chiefs to the scene, Jasper County EMS with an Ambulance to the scene, Ramsey FPD and Brownstown FPD with Engines change of quarters and St. Elmo FPD with a Chief change of quarters. Fire was reported under control at 00:05 hours.
"A back hoe was requested to the scene to begin the process of pulling the debris apart in order to reach fires under metal roofing and walls. The building had heavy storage of wood pallets and sawed wood. An exposure building to the east of the fire building sustained some fire damage which crews were able to quickly contain and extinguish. Crews were able to hold the fire from traveling to an exposure building to the west.
"EMS on scene provided rehab for all personnel on scene along with Red Cross providing canteen services. Once the 5" line on Route 45 was shut down, all lanes were reopened to traffic at 02:11 hours.
"As the back hoe began the process of removing the metal sheets and piles of wood storage, firefighters extinguished fires utilizing foam. All remaining firefighters cleared the scene at 04:30 hours.
"The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injuries reported. Damage estimates have yet to be determined.