Second structure in recent months hits Downtown Pana

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PANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A fire once again burned buildings in downtown Pana. Now firefighters are investigating what caused this one.

Firefighters responded around 1:15 p.m. to a fire near Second and Locust streets. Multiple units from Christian and Montgomery County response agencies helped fight the fire. When they first arrived, the fire already had burst through the front door.

Fire Chief Rod Bland said both buildings were unoccupied at the time the fire ignited, but there was plenty of equipment left behind that helped it spread. Eventually, it burned through the roof.

“So much was going on,” Chief Bland said. “We were trying to coordinate everybody. We had Taylorville in the back focusing on that side of the building, and they’ve been great back there.”

Ladder trucks helped bring the fire under control. Firefighters initially thought there might be someone on the second floor but determined that wasn’t the case.

Crews at the scene say no one was hurt, but two structures had extensive damage.

This fire happened just a block west of a separate fire in a downtown building that happened in December 2020. The building in that fire had to be demolished afterward.

Firefighters said given the state of some of the buildings downtown, it could’ve been worse. Bland said the recent experience they’ve had putting out fires in this area has helped them prepare for this one.

“We knew where our hydrant’s were, and it helped,” Chief Bland said. “That helped us preplan, and get moving pretty quick.”

This story has been updated.

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