Massive Blaze Ravages Downtown Pontiac

Sep 15, 2019

A 6-alarm fire at a Pontiac furniture warehouse kept 21 fire departments busy for most of Saturday.

The Wright's Furniture warehouse, 115 E. Madison, caught fire around 11:30 a.m. The Pontiac Fire Department quickly activated a box alarm as several transformers began to blow up as the warehouse collapsed.

Heat radiating from the blaze caused Duffy Ambulance Service and the Wright's Furniture store to also catch on fire.

Firefighters were able to save the main furniture store, but much of the Duffy ambulance quarters were lost.

Nobody was harmed in Saturday's fire.

Fire departments responding include Pontiac, Fairbury, Saunemin, Cullom, Odell, Chenoa, Dwight, Cornell, Gridley, Flanagan, Forrest, Lexington, Minonk, Reading, Chatsworth, Long Point, Streator, El Paso, Gardner, and Towanda.

Several other agencies like the Pontiac Police Department, Illinois American Water, and Nicor Gas also assisted at the scene. Area businesses provided food and beverages for first responders.

Gabriel Vincent, an EMT and paramedic for Duffy Ambulance Service, said they are back in operation and 911 coverage in Pontiac will not be interrupted. The ambulance service is making a temporary home at Central Truck and Ag until it can built new headquarters.

Wright's Furniture is closed until further notice.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office. No damage estimate was immediately available.