PAWNEE, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The fire is out, but the rubble remains.
A stretch of five buildings burned to the ground Tuesday in Pawnee, and now the community is trying to recover.
“It’s unreal. Growing up here, everybody has so many memories of these buildings because of all the different buildings that have been in and out of here. It is just heart wrenching,” Pawnee mayor Jeff Clarke said.
Cleanup hasn’t started yet on the stretch of buildings on the village square. Officials are worried that moving the rubble enough could lead to the fire reigniting. The near 6-hour fight for fire fighters drained village resources, and it’s left the entire village on a boil order.
“With all of the fire trucks, we had 19 units here today from different communities,” Clarke said. “The water tower eventually went dry. And once you start sucking off of the main, its got to clean its self for 3-4 days”
It wasn’t just water that departments needed either. People were bringing fire fighters food and water while they fought, and there were even trucks bringing fuel in to help keep the trucks running for the whole fight. The Salvation Army showed up as well to help the fire fighters in the long battle.
“I think they are grateful. They are always great with us,” Bert Barlow with the Salvation Army said. We just wanted to help as much as we can. We can tell they were starting to get fatigued and tired but they are still working real hard.”