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Fire destroys Washington Park municipal building adjoined to fire and police departments

The chief said nobody was hurt in the fire

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. — The building housing multiple Washington Park governmental services caught on fire Tuesday afternoon.

The building located at 5621 Forest Boulevard in Washington Park is listed as housing the village's police and fire departments, the public works department, the code enforcement department and the sanitation and sewer department.

According to 5 On Your Side's Robert Townsend on the scene, the fire started just after 2 p.m. and grew to a three-alarm fire with eight departments responding. 

Battalion Chief Ronnie Harris said nobody was hurt and the administrative offices side of the police department, fire department and public works department are destroyed.

“It’s been here ever since I was 17, so to see the village now look like that at this point, it’s devastating,” Harris said.

Harris said the village will "definitely" need a new administrative building after this fire but there is some good news. Investigators said a firewall prevented the flames from destroying the adjoining building that actually houses Washington Park’s fire and police departments.

Harris said there was smoke and water damage to the police and fire department spaces but no fire damage.

“I’m glad about that. We will still respond to calls police and fire-wise. If the sewer department needs to work or public works has to work, I’m pretty sure the village will continue to work as normal. As long as the power gets cut back on at the police and fire department’s building, I’m sure we’ll be able to let the bay down, put the trucks back in. Now, it won’t happen tonight, but in the next few days it will come. We’ll figure it out,” added Chief Harris.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Washington Park had a population of 2,592 as of 2020.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

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