EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Firefighters are on the scene of a large fire at a lumber yard in Edwardsville, Illinois. The fire has led to more than 1,000 power and natural gas outages in the area.
The Collinsville Emergency Management Agency described it as a second-alarm blaze at R.P. Lumber, which is located 514 E. Vandalia Street. A large cloud of dark smoke could be seen rising from the scene.
Crews from several area departments responded to the scene to help put out the flames in the middle of a snow storm and dangerously cold temperatures.
Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said the building collapsed, damaging neighboring homes. The storm is blowing flames, but the fire has not spread from the lumber yard.
“Hope everyone on scene stays safe during this cold weather. If you are heading to Edwardsville please stay out of the area,” the Collinsville Emergency Management Agency shared on Facebook.
Ameren Illinois confirmed with 5 On Your Side that the fire has led to about 1,300 customers to lose their electricity. The fire took down a line, which led to the power outage. Utility crews are on the scene trying to fix the issue using a workaround that should restore power to the vast majority of customers by about 4:30 p.m., Ameren officials said.
The large fire also forced Ameren Illinois to shut off natural gas in the area, leaving an unknown number of customers without the service. There’s no estimated time on when the gas service will be restored. Crews are working to dig up an underground gas line leading to the building. Once the line is shut off to the building, Natural gas can be restored to other parts of the area.
While services are down in the area, the city has opened warming shelters in Edwardsville at the Meyer Center YMCA on Goshen Road and the Wildey Theatre on Main Street. They will remain open until service can be restored.
5 On Your Side has a crew in Edwardsville gathering more details. We will continue to update this developing story as more information is confirmed.
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