After nearly an 11 hour battle during which a firefighter was killed and two buildings gutted by flames, fire crews finally went home early Saturday morning.
The fire at the Pinckneyville Antique Mall and Kunz Opera House sparked before 3:15 p.m. Friday. Crews were on scene until just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
A Du Quoin firefighter was killed Friday afternoon while fighting the fire.
Perry County EMA director David Searby said Corey Shaw, 22, died after a wall collapsed on him. Shaw had been a volunteer with the Du Quoin Fire Department since 2010 and was the son of Du Quoin Fire Chief Bob Shaw.
"Obviously he did have a connection to fire service for quite a long time. His father being a long time fireman and fire chief. So it was in his blood. He was doing something he enjoyed doing and he was protecting his community," said Searby.
Witnesses say Corey Ray Shaw was near a wall when it collapsed. He was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital, where he later died.
"I was just off the front of the building. the accident happened on the side of the building, several of us were right there," said Curtis Miller a fire fighter with the Pinckneyville Fire Department.
"I think it's hit me some just like everybody else. It's still a bit surreal right now with everything going non-stop from last night until now."
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Du Quoin with Fr. Nick Junker officiating.
Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at the Du Quoin Middle School on East Jackson Street in Du Quoin.
Burial will be in the Old Du Quoin Cemetery at Du Quoin.
Friends may make memorials to an education fund for Camryn Ray Shaw and will be accepted at the funeral home.
Searby Funeral Home of Du Quoin is in charge of the arrangements.
Du Quoin City Commissioner Rex Duncan says all public flags will be flown at half staff.
Officials with the Perry County Sheriff's Department in Pinckneyville say the Antique Mall and the century-old Opera House are a complete loss.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal will be back Monday to continue investigating the cause of the fire.
The owner of the antique mall and fire crews sifted thru the rubble Saturday to salvage what they could.
There is no word yet on what caused the blaze that took several fire crews nearly 11-hours to put out.
Sarah Sronce, who owns the neighboring hair salon Shear Attitude, said she heard fire alarms and saw flames shoot out when firefighters knocked out a front store window.
"We heard the wall collapse. And then we heard a fire fighter yell that they needed a stretcher. I seen them take him out, you never know though how bad it is. But I can't believe it, it's so sad," Sronce said.