A fire wreaks havoc on a downtown Moline landmark.
It happened at 10 o'clock this morning when a fire tore through the historic Birdsell building on 5th avenue.
"It's sad. I'm just hopeful nobody's gotten hurt," says David Birdsell, owner of the building.
David Birdsell has owned the building for almost 30 years.
But its history dates back much farther than that
"It's actually the oldest commercial building in Moline right now. It's an 1843, so one of the buildings built in the area back before the civil war," says Birdsell.
When fire crews arrived, the back porch was already fully engulfed by the flames and was spreading throughout the building.
"It is a very difficult fire. It's an old structure with a lot of hidden voids. And we're trying to get to those voids where the fire was in between the ceiling and the roof," says Ike Sederstrom, Deputy Fire Chief, Moline.
Sederstrom says his team faced other challenges as well
"Construction in front of the building, we couldn't get the engines as close as we'd like to. Weather has been a challenge with the heat and humidity so we've been trying to rotate our crews," says Sederstrom.
It took crews nearly two and a half hours to put the blaze out as dozens of people lined the streets to watch the landmark in flames.
"I've put a lot of time and work in it over the years, so it's sad to see this," says Birdsell.
There were three people living in the apartments, but all were able to get out safely.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
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