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.