Crews begin taking down building after downtown Marion fire

Published: Nov. 9, 2014 at 2:25 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2014 at 10:38 PM CST
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(Source: Giacomo Luca)
(Source: Giacomo Luca)
Source: Debra Wilson
Source: Debra Wilson
Source: Debra Wilson
Source: Debra Wilson
Source: Debra Wilson
Source: Debra Wilson

MARION, IL (KFVS) - Firefighters were still on the scene Sunday of a fire at the Old Blankenship building in Marion, Illinois.

Crews began demolishing the building on Sunday afternoon.

Main St. opened to traffic shortly before 5:30 p.m.

Fire department crews said they were called out just after 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Five fire crews from across the are were called in for mutual aid including Carterville, Lake of Egypt, West Frankfort, and Herrin Fire Departments, and the Williamson County Fire Protection District.

The building was being used as for storing props and sets for a local youth theater group called Artstarts.

The President of Artstarts, Rebecca O'Neill, says the group will find a way to get through it.

"You just look back and you really appreciate everybody that's helped us throughout time," O'Neill said. "And you just realize it's gone. But, we will survive."

Marion Fire Chief Jerry Odum says no one was injured in the incident.

Odum says the cause of the fire is undetermined and because of the unstable condition of the building, no investigation will take place.

"It was an older building and when they pulled up at first, there was a lot of smoke coming out of the top floor," the chief said. "And they pretty well went defensive right off the bat."

Odum says it would be unsafe for anyone to investigate.

Traffic was closed Sunday morning along Main Street.

Power was out in the building and at one neighborhood business.

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