Flames destroy part of a Silvis business

Fire crews battle blaze at Anchor Lumber for hours Monday

By Krista Burris

Published 08/03 2015 10:22PM

Updated 08/03 2015 10:22PM

 
There's no word tonight what started this afternoon's destructive fire in Silvis.
 
Firefighters got called to Anchor Lumber around 3:30 p.m.
 
Part of the building is a total loss, but crews managed to keep the newer section of the building intact.
 
Many from the community watched the fire take down a business they've known for years.
 
Flames, smoke and several fire crews filled the scene at anchor lumber in Silvis.
 
One employee working when the fire started says he was helping a customer who spotted the smoke.
 
"Didn't smell no smoke, but we walked outside the front door and turned around. The whole front of the facade was on fire," said Anchor Lumber employee Stuart Tennant.
 
Tennant says they were the only ones in the building and got out safely. 
 
The Silvis fire chief confirms no one was hurt.
 
He says crews faced one big problem getting it under control.
 
"Flat roof with a pitched roof on top of it. It got into that voided area with a steel roof on top of that. It didn't let us get to the fire very well," said Silvis Fire Chief Dave Leibovitz.
 
Tennant says it felt like he was watching his job go up in flames.
 
"Very sad. This place has been here for about 50 years now. It's part of Silvis, so it's pretty tough," said Tennant.
 
Silvis Resident Todd Hunter watched as the building burned.
 
He says he's shopped here for years.
 
"It's a shame, a lot of people work here, and Alex is one of the best people around in town, so yeah it's a shame," said Hunter.
 
Another issue for the firefighters was water.
 
They were in danger of running out of it.
 
The water they were using from the Silvis tower was draining fast, but other departments like Hampton brought in their own water tanks.
 
Right now, it's not clear how this whole thing started.
 
 

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