12 families without a home in Minier after an early morning fire destroys business, apartments

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MINIER, Ill. (WMBD) — 12 families in Minier are without a home after an early Monday morning fire destroyed a business and apartment building.

The original call to 118 S. Main St. came in just before 2 a.m.

“He woke up to crackling,” said Joyce Howard, who owns Novelties & More Food inside the building.

Howard said her son lives in an apartment in the building.

“He said ‘mom the shop is on fire.’ And I said ‘Oh my god’ and I come running down here in my nightgown,” said Howard.

The flames later jumped onto the building next door, evacuating 11 apartments.

“I’d see nothing but smoke when I got out of my house. And when I got down here, it was all smoke you couldn’t even see each other,” said Howard.

Minier Police Chief Daryl Weseloh said everyone got out safely, but one cat died.

“Just thankful that nobody got hurt and everybody got out,” said Jeff Logsdon, the owner of the apartment building at 120 S. Main St.

Crews from 12 local fire departments responded to the scene, adding manpower and extra water supply.

“If the ladder truck hadn’t have gotten here from Pekin, it would’ve been gone. They would’ve never saved it,” said Logsdon.

Crews spent hours fighting the fire.

“Been through small doses of this, but this is probably the largest one in recent times,” said Police Chief Daryl Weseloh.

Now, neighbors are figure out the next steps.

“Our lifehood was in there. It’s gone,” said Howard.

Residents are picking up the pieces, but the loss is devastating.

“Things can be replaced, as long as nobody got hurt,” said Logsdon.

“Everybody says we’ll spring back. We’re hard workers. So, maybe we will, maybe we’ll never get back from this,” said Howard.

The Red Cross is helping the displaced families and a donation account has been set up at the First Farmers State Bank.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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