Fire Destroys Historic Grocery Building

Fire Destroys Historic Grocery Building
By: Carly O'Keefe

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. - A massive blaze destroyed a historic building near downtown Murphysboro Friday.
Fire crews from Murphysboro, Murphysboro Pomona Somerset Fire Protection District, De Soto, Carbondale and Carterville responded to the blaze at around 9 a.m. and were on scene all day.
The three-story brick building housed the Murphysboro Grocery Company at one time.  It was built in 1923 and survived the Tri-state Tornado of 1925.  Some folks in town feel they've lost a local landmark. 
"It's sad to think that something could withstand so much, but one little thing could take it down," said Patty Cripps, a former owner of the building.
The age and sturdy construction of the building may have played a part in making the fire more difficult to fight.  According to Cripps, enormous 12" x 12" oak beams spanned the inside the building.  There were also thick oak floors and several inches of tar-paper layering under the tin roof.  All of that dense material, plus cars and antiques stored in the building gave the fire plenty of fuel.
Illinois State Fire Marshal investigators responded to the fire Friday afternoon and ruled the cause of the fire as "undetermined" at this time.  The scene was not safe enough for officers to get in to investigate.