PERU, Ill. — UPDATE: Chief Doug Bernabei tells WMBD the fire did not result in a complete loss, but about 20% of the building was damaged.
Just before 4 a.m. Saturday morning, a Peru police officer discovered a working fire at Double D Express at 2930 May Road.
Officer Nick Biagioni, who is also a part-time POC fireman, alerted ValCom Dispatch reporting the working structure fire.
ValCom immediately dispatched a full still alarm bringing Peru, LaSalle, Oglesby and Spring Valley Firemen along with Peru EMS to the scene and Standard Fire to a change of quarter to the Peru station.
A few minutes later the first Peru engine arrived along with several Peru firefighters who began the fire attack under the command of Chief Jeff King.
Chief King called for a third alarm for a commercial structure fire and also called a tender alarm to the box level.
Fire departments from Tonica, Utica, Mendota, Ladd, Cherry, Granville, Troy Grove, Cedar Point responded due to the alarm upgrades.
The state fire Marshall, Peru ESDA, Peru Water, Ameren Illinois, and the Peru Township salt truck all responded and the effort was coordinated by dispatchers from ValCom and MABAS dispatch at Ottawa Central.
Several off-duty Peru police officers were called in to assist with traffic control and handle regular patrols and calls in the City.
Within 90 minutes of the initial discovery Chief King declared the fire under control. After 8 a.m. the scene was still being worked on but May Road was able to be reopened to traffic.
“We here at the police department are all very proud that a Peru officer, out protecting us in the middle of the night discovered the fire, which while it was a major fire it no doubt helped minimize the extent of the fire. If not for the timely discovery the fire would have much more devastating.Chief Doug Bernabei | Peru Police Department
Kudos to the work of all the fire departments involved. Their work and fire suppression were nothing short of amazing. These guys and gals train and it was so obvious that they are the best of the best. They won’t brag but the community should know your area firefighters saved the majority of the building keeping lots of people from our communities to still having a place to work. Most importantly not one single fireman or citizen was injured.”
The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation by Chief King, the State Fire Marshal, and Peru Police Department. At this time there is nothing suspicious or indication of foul play, Chief Bernabei says.
A Facebook post on Peru Police Department’s page says Chief King will provide a full update to the media and community when time permits in the coming days.