A witness reported seeing two males, possibly in their early teens, run from the building just before the fire. The witness said the pair ran south across the 1st Avenue bridge.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Sterling Police at 815-632-6640 or Whiteside County Crime Stoppers at 815-625-7867.
A fire rips through an abandoned warehouse in sterling Sunday and officials believe it may be another case of arson.
Multiple crews were called out to the Lawrence Hardware warehouse on 1st Avenue Sunday afternoon.
Smoke was billowing out of the four story structure when they got there.
It took crews hours to get the fire under control. Nobody was hurt but crews had to shut down the 1st Avenue Bridge which connects Sterling to Rock Falls.
"This is a major thoroughfare between the communities," says Randy Ellmaker, Captain, Sterling Fire Department. "And we had a lot of hose out, a lot of firemen walking around back and forth. You can't have traffic in that situation."
Ellmaker says the fire started in the west side cellar. The State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause.
Crews in Sterling, IL are battling a fire at the abandoned Lawrence Brothers warehouse on 1st Ave. Multiple fire departments are on scene.
Officials say because of possible hazardous materials no one is going inside to extinguish the flames.
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