Second fire in downtown Farmington in four days

Second structure fire in four days. Fire Chief says "significant damage."
Second structure fire in four days. Fire Chief says "significant damage."(25 News/ Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Thursday night around 9:20 p.m. the Farmington Fire Department was called to East Fort Street after reports of smoke coming from local business, Ashers Bar and Grill.

When fire crews arrived they found heavy fire in the kitchen and it extended to the second story. Fire crews had to break a neighboring business’s door window to access the upper level.

Over one hundred firefighters were on the scene to put the fire out. After several hours the fire was out however, fire crews stayed on site to remove overhaul from the roof until three in the morning. A local gas station stayed open late for firefighters.

“That helped us out. They provided us with water coffee. Anything the guys needed” says Matt Watters, Fire Chief for Farmington Fire Department.

Just four days prior a fire burned Whiskey Dixies to the ground on the same street. Both fires are still under investigation.

The fire chief says “The community is worried that there might be an arsonist running around, or suspicious in nature. At this point we have no indication that’s even a possibility. There’s no foul play suspected at this time for either one of the fires.”

The business owner Ashley Spencer saw the damage for the first time this morning.

“I just can’t believe that it’s happened, we put our heart and soul into this place. It was devastating, I mean we were all just up here with our family and friends having Thanksgiving dinner earlier that day.”

She says an insurance adjuster will be on site Monday to assess the cost of the damages. Currently the Illinois State Fire Department is helping with the investigation.

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