No injuries were reported after an early morning fire badly damaged a liquor store near Illinois State University's campus.
The fire was reported around 2:30 a.m. Monday at University Liquors at 706 W. Beaufort St., Normal. Normal firefighters had the bulk of the fire out within 30 minutes.
“This fire was an especially dangerous one for our firefighters," Normal Fire Chief Mick Humer said in a statement. "Due to the lack of windows on the building, there were only two doorways out. If, in the course of fighting the fire, they had to evacuate rapidly, or if there was some kind of collapse of the ceiling or roof structure, the firefighters could easily have become trapped with no way out.
"Thankfully that wasn’t the case on this fire, but it’s something in the front of our minds on something like this. Our interior firefighters were able to get in and get the job done very effectively and we are very proud of their efforts," he said.
The building sustained extensive fire damage, with heavy smoke and heat damage throughout, officials said. Based on the high temperatures and the chemicals given off during the fire, all of the products inside will likely have to be discarded. The McLean County Health Department also responded to give information regarding salvage efforts for any products in the building.
The business is insured and will remain closed for now.
The origin and cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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