Watseka Fire

Local News

WATSEKA, Ill. (WCIA) — “We had one aerial truck up in the air that water froze at the tip of that, that rendered that out of service.” said Tim Ketchum, the Watseka Fire Chief. 

As flames were continuing to rise into the afternoon, firefighters were fighting another element: 

“We had several of our water trucks bring water from the full site to us. By the time they got back to the scene their baubles had already froze up. Using torches to try to warm them and get them out.” said Ketchum.

Salt trucks came to disintegrate the ice forming, as neighboring businesses watched and waited across the street

“It was very busy. Usually even for breakfast on saturdays when we would come into work it was packed” said Vicki Walver, a hairdresser at Do or Dye Hair Salon.

They say their building shook when the bricks from the now destroyed building came tumbling down, now they’re wondering what will happen the demolished space across the street. 

“I’m not sure. Maybe they’ll rebuild, possibly have a bigger parking lot, we’re not really sure what it’s going to be” said Walver.

The Fire Chief says Walnut Street will be closed at least until tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: Friday 12:00 p.m 01/05/2017

WATSEKA, Ill. (WCIA) — Firefighters responded to a fire at Shorty’s Bar and Grill in downtown area around 3am.

The fire spread to an adjacent building, that firefighters believe to be a storage facility. Both buildings are a total loss.

No one was hurt.

At this time, around 8am, they are still working to put out all the flames.

About 18 other departments also responded to this, to provide the water needed to do the job.

VIDEO: The Shortys Bar and Grill sign in Watseka came down in flames just minutes ago. Fire crews have been fighting these flames since 3 this morning. Both the Bar and Grill as well as the neighboring restaurant are a complete loss 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.