Fire closes basement at U of Illinois’ Illini Union

URBANA, Ill. – The basement of the nearly 80-year-old Illini Union at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign is closed after a fire.

The university’s Illini Alert system issued a message about 6:30 a.m. Thursday saying there was a fire at the building and to avoid or leave the area immediately. About 50 minutes later another alert said the fire was out and the building was open except for the basement. A later alert said the basement only would be open to workers except for a bagel restaurant. Fire and maintenance workers remained on the scene.

No injuries were reported.

The union opened in 1941 and then-first lady Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated it the next year. The building acts as a campus headquarters with shopping, restaurants, places to study and a hotel.

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