PAWNEE, Ill. (WCIA) — Several businesses in Pawnee burned Tuesday after a fire spread across a quarter of the town square.
It happened on 6th Street between Douglas and Lincoln Tuesday afternoon. Copperheads in Pawnee caught fire around 12 p.m..
Firefighters worked on the fire for hours, but they could not keep it from spreading down the block to other businesses. For business owners, it was a devastating blow after an already trying year.
The four businesses that burned made up a quarter of the village square. The buildings stood for hundreds of years before the fire.
Lifelong residents of Pawnee watched as a historical part of their town collapsed.
“It is just so sad,” said Gail Chevalier Zizini. “People like me, born and raised here, this is our town town square. This is our history. Everybody has known it all their lives.”
The firefighters attempts at slowing the fire were slowed after a water main break caused them to lose pressure. The departments started driving water trucks over from a local utility plant.