April 11, 2006 at 8:38 AM CDT - Updated July 26 at 2:51 PM
Massive Fire in Small Town By: Carly O'Keefe
Omaha, IL - Twenty-three fire departments from Illinois and Indiana responded to an enormous blaze in the small town of Omaha Monday, when the Omaha Furniture Warehouse burnt to the ground.
The fire started around 12:45 p.m. Omaha Fire Officials asked for help from Coal Belt Fire and several Indiana fire departments. Firefighters say the blaze was difficult to fight as the building was filled wall to wall with mattresses, sofas and other pieces of furniture.
Residents say Omaha Furniture is more or less what fuels the town's economy. While the showroom still stands across the street, folks are worried what will happen to the town of Omaha if the warehouse is not rebuilt.
"Anyone outside Omaha if they knew Omaha it was Omaha Furniture. That's what this town is," said life-long Omaha resident Jessica Rayborn.
The flames from the burning warehouse were so hot that they actually melted the siding on the Omaha Civic Center---located across the street, and cracked the glass in several of the windows to the Omaha Furniture Showroom.
There was also great concern about the town post office. It was attached to the Omaha Furniture Warehouse, but unfortunately, fire fighters say it could not be saved.
"The whole block is a total loss except one building, we were able to save it," said Chief Sean Martin.
The post office has been temporarily relocated to the Omaha Masonic Lodge. Residents are asked to pick up their mail at that location until plans are made for a new post office.