PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – The explosive fire on the 800 block of Monroe last night is suspected to be arson, according to Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger.
The fire started around 9:45 PM and shortly after, two explosions occurred. The fire damaged two apartment complexes and a beauty shop next door. All of the buildings involved were demolished this morning.
Due to the explosive nature of the fire, Chief Sollberger explained how these types of fires can put extra pressure on first responders. “Everybody that was on shift rotated at some point down to that fire…we were under some pretty significant strain last night.” Sollberger also mentioned that the department was responding to other calls at the same time which added stress.
Sollberger went on to mention that combustible elements can lead to hazardous outcomes. “Some people store their gasoline inside their home which is extremely dangerous, but it does happen, and that’s why firefighting is a very dangerous profession.”
The estimated cost of the damages is around $250,000. No injuries have been reported as of yet.