SALEM, IL (KTVI) – The Old Brown Shoe factory in southern Illinois went up in flames late Wednesday night and spread to nearby homes. The Salem fire chief and homeowners in the neighborhood are just grateful no one was hurt.
According to investigators with the Salem Fire Protection District, the fire started around 10 p.m. The Old Brown Shoe factory had been used as a storage facility, but the building was vacant at the time of the fire.
The fire was so intense that when firefighters arrived on the scene, the building was fully engulfed and little could be done to save it.
Salem Fire Chief Roger Mann said at least 10 surrounding fire departments were called in for mutual aid as the fire continued to burn out of control. Power was knocked out in the area, but electricity has since been restored. Meanwhile, the American Red Cross is assisting residents in the area.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal is working to determine the cause of the blaze.