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Christmas Day fire destroys vacant apartment building in Eldorado

Eldorado Fire
A ladder truck from Harrisburg Fire puts water on a vacant apartment fire Friday in downtown Eldorado, IL. Courtesy: Dakota McKinnies

ELDORADO, Ill. (WSIL) -- Firefighters in Saline County started their Christmas morning with a building fire in downtown Eldorado.

It broke out just before 9:44 a.m. in a building on Organ Street.

Multiple fire departments responded by mutual aid to help Eldorado fire including Gallatin, Equality and Harrisburg.

Harrisburg used their ladder truck to get an aerial attack on the fire that went through the roof in a building described as about a third of a block long.

The building was vacant at the time. The east side of the building was used for apartments. A small shop was also in the building and received smoke damage.

Eldorado Fire Chief Mike McKinnies tells News 3 he's please no one was seriously injured fighting the blaze. He says 26 of the 28 firefighters in the city showed up to help with the effort.

"I'd like to thank Casey's who dropped by some pizzas and Huck's for a lot of free coffee that really helped," McKinnies said.

McKinnies said the cold temperatures was a problem.

When we got out there it was like 14 degrees. The water was flowing but the problem was when it got out into the street it froze.

"A Gallatin firefighter slipped on the ice and busted his nose up pretty bad. EMS checked him out and he was okay," he said.

The fire started in the vacant part of the building, according to McKinnies. The fire response lasted for about three and a half hours. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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