|The former Hawkinson Manufacturing building in Galesburg is no more following a massive blaze Tuesday morning.
Galesburg Firefighters arrived at the scene of Ferris Place and Cedar Avenue around 8:30 am. Fire Chief Tom Simkins says it was obvious within three or four minutes that the three-level facility would be a total loss.
Simkins says crews had to quickly retreat from their initial interior attack on the fire because of the ferocity of the smoke and flames. He says one firefighter was taken to Galesburg Cottage Hospital after he fell off a ladder. Simkins says he suffered a broken collar bone and possibly a concussion.
The third floor of the structure was reportedly an extravagant loft-style apartment. WGIL's Will Stevenson reports the owner was out playing golf at the time, and isn't sure what may have caused the blaze. The lower two floors were used for storage purposes.
Simkins says crews will remain on the scene possibly into the evening hours and tomorrow putting out hot spots. A third-party contractor may have to come in to remove all of the debris and rubble. The thick-black smoke that filled the Galesburg sky-line this morning has since sub-sided.
We'll keep you updated throughout the day on the latest from the blaze on WGIL and WGIL.com.
Find more photos from the fire at WGIL's Facebook page.
(Ash from a block away at the site).
(Photos provided by WGIL's Rick Heath and Will Stevenson).