Day Spa catches fire in southern Illinois

HERRIN, IL (KFVS) - Crews from several fire departments put out flames to Egyptian Revival Day Spa in Williamson County.  This spa lies along Route 13 between Herrin and Carterville.

Crews say flames broke out around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The flames destroyed more than just the structure of Egyptian Revival. It has also cost the region more than two dozen jobs.

With its iconic Egyptian statues standing guard over the peace within, Egyptian Revival Day Spa became a local symbol of relaxation.

"It's a place where everybody comes to get away, and sometimes we were even people's therapists, they just wanna come and relax and talk and share and get away from the stress," said employee Angie Stoner

But that tranquillity was broken early Wednesday morning by flames.

"They think it originated from a dryer in the basement, smoldered throughout the night and a passerby noticed smoke and fire coming from the building," said Dr. Ted Van Acker.

"We would knock it down and it would just come back up from the basement," said Herrin Fire Chief Mike Steh.

Inside, what's left of the sanctuary of relaxation is now a charred mess.

"It's devastating, I've walked through the entire structure and I see all the items hand picked for this place, antique Egyptian pieces in the building that are lost," said Dr. Van Acker.

But much more than that is lost. The fire put the spa out of business. Now 25 jobs will go up in smoke.

The business has instructed its employees to file for unemployment.

Angie Stoner has worked there for nine and a half years.

"I'm gonna miss it today, I'm gonna miss it tomorrow, I'm gonna miss it next week. The big question is - what's next?" Stoner said.

Dr. Van Acker says he plans to tear the building down and re-build in the same spot. In the meantime, Williamson County will suffer an economic blow.

"Dr. Van Acker employs a lot of people, they're constantly busy here and it's good for the economy, so hopefully they can re-bound from this and rebuild," Chief Steh said.

Four fire departments responded to battle the blaze.

While it doesn't look like a total loss from the outside, inside the flames gutted a third of the building. Smoke and water damaged the rest.

No one was hurt.

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