2 Mt. Vernon businesses go up in flames in early morning blaze
MOUNT VERNON, IL (KFVS) - Several fire crews worked to put out a business fire in Mt. Vernon early Monday morning.
Dispatchers say firefighters were called out around 12:30 a.m. to the building on Broadway that houses the Sears Hometown Store and USA Mattress Outlet. Both businesses are under the same ownership.
When the Mt. Vernon fire department arrived, they immediately called for more crews to help get control of the flames.
The fire department says the fire started in the back of the building and quickly spread.
It took about two hours to contain the fire.
The fire marshal was called in to investigate the cause.
No one was injured.
The fire department said the cold impacted their efforts to put out the fire. The parking lot near the building was essentially an ice rink.
No surrounding businesses were damaged.
The building is a complete loss.
Inside the Sears there were washers, dryers, refrigerators, lawn mowers, deep freezers, generators and much more. Firefighters estimate the cost of damage to be at least $1 million.
The business next door, just about 15 feet away, was not affected.
We talked to one of the employees on Monday.
"Oh, it's tragic, especially this time of year," said Danielle Wheeler, employee at Ohley Medical Supply. "It's a blessing that no one was hurt, but it's a tragedy that they lost everything."
Their internet was down for most of the day, but they have had normal business hours with the normal flow of traffic.
Currently, the fire department said it is unsafe for their crews and will hold off the investigation until the weather breaks.
We also talked briefly to the family that owns the Sears and USA Mattress. They said they are devastated and that they loss everything before the holidays.
Both the Mount Vernon Fire Department and the Jefferson County Fire Department worked to put the fire out.
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