An East St. Louis business was destroyed by a fire that burned for 12 hours. A hectic day of clean-up followed at Diamond Classic Tires along State Street.
"It's been going on all night,” explained Gladys McGee, who lives right across the street from the tire company.
“I'm just going to bed by 2 a.m. I'm just getting up due to this,” she said. For McGee’s family it was a challenging several hours, not to mention very uncomfortable ones.
“My window's cracked upstairs due to the heat,” she told five on your side. She went on to explain: “Smoke all in my apartment, I'm literally right here directly across the street from the fire."
According to the East St. Louis Fire Department the fire started around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night and continued to burn well into the morning. Nine firefighters were called to the scene. Three of those were there for backup assistance.
"You had a lot of tires, air compressors, you had a lot of combustible items in there," said East St. Louis Fire Chief, Jason Blackmon. Those combustible items are what made the job particularly tough.
“And once the roof collapsed, we were going to be a lot of time because basically we were trying to surround the ground fire," he explained.
For neighbors who live directly in front of the fiery scene, they explained that the heat from the flames was felt from across State Street.
"It was coming through the windows,” said Daveda Brown, who lives with her mother, Gladys, directly in front of the blaze.
“I had to take my air conditioner out of the window. There was a crack in my window. I thought my air conditioning was going to fall out the window because my window was cracking,” she explained.
Right now, there is no word on what might have caused the fire. The state fire marshal is investigating. As soon as they have more information, they will report back to the East St. Louis Fire Department.