by Roland Glembine / firstname.lastname@example.org
A massive fire Monday morning has changed the face of downtown Prophetstown forever. Eight historic buildings in the town all over 100 years old never stood a chance.
"All 1900 era buildings not many fire stops the roofs are all connected," explained Prophetstown Fire Chief Keith Crady. "So I'm on the ground and I can see it going from roof to roof, nothing you can do."
Several residents raced to safety, Kenny Stegmiller's says that includes his daughter "Luckily one of her friends had broken down the door and came in."
Chief Crady says no one was hurt in the massive blaze thanks to some quick action by his department. "There was a lady upstairs in one we went up and got her and one woman wasn't awake down farther. We had to break her door down before she woke up in her bedroom, we got her out.
Crady says the fire started at Cindy Jean's Restaurant and quickly grew much bigger than his department could handle. "It got to the point where I needed tankers and I just called county and said give me 10 tankers."
More than 25 departments some from 50 miles away rushed to help. The fire fight took some seven hours and a river of water.
"We actually drained the Prophetstown tower, we ended up draining the Lyndon tower." said Crady.
Crews relied on the Rock River to bail them out. But not before 8 buildings were lost including the towns Historical Museum. Much to the dismay of the Chief. "There's stuff that's hundred years old that's gone now, you can't stop it you can't stop it."
Stegmiller too lost his business in the fire, but counts his blessings his daughter is safe. "I thank God I thank God they got out ok."
Excavators were already on scene by noon Monday, ready to rip away the very heart of this community which is so thankful that no one was hurt.
Due to the heavy water use in the fire the city is currently under a boil order.