At 3:08 pm Saturday, the Bloomington Fire Department was dispatched to 1101 Gettysburg Drive for multiple reports of structure fire.
Based on the information provided by dispatch, the alarm was upgraded to a box alarm which includes a response from Normal Fire Department. Truck 3 was first on scene at 3:12pm and reported heavy black smoke on their arrival on scene. Truck 3 reported vehicles blocking the driveway to get to the rear of the building, delaying fire response.
Fire was reported in the lower level of the middle apartment and extending to the second floor of the rear of the building. A resident reported to the captain of Truck 3 that all the residents were accounted for and out of the building. Due to the size of the building and the extent of the fire, an “all call” was requested for off-duty firefighters to report to their stations.
Crews battled interior and exterior firefighting efforts for five hours until the fire was brought under control at 8:30p. One firefighter suffered a minor injury, was transported to the hospital, and has since been released from the hospital. Due to the extent of damage caused by the fire, the cause of fire is undetermined at this time. The damage to the building is estimated at $650,000.
The Red Cross was notified and transported residents via Connect Transit to the Red Cross Offices on Westport Drive. Donations of food, clothing, and toiletries were collected at Stevenson Elementary over the weekend. At this time, after speaking with Principal Katy Hansen, there is not a need for more clothing, food, or toiletries; however, money and gift cards can be dropped at the office today between 9 and 4. Thank you to all who have provided donations.
Thank you Normal Fire, Towanda Fire, Downs Fire Protection District, City of Bloomington Police, City of Bloomington Public Works, City of Bloomington Water Department, and the Department of Transportation for all their assistance with this fire. Thank you to IHOP on Empire for the provisions of coffee and hot chocolate to the fire crews!