Fire chief: Investigation continues into Saturday night blaze

Local News

The Wilbert Vault Company building in Milan erupted in flames around 7 p.m. Saturday. (Linda Cook,

The inferno that consumed much of the Wilbert Vault building, 636 10th Ave. W., Milan, still is under investigation.

“I think we got it completely out Monday,” Blackhawk Fire Protection District Chief Todd Fitzpatrick told Local 4 News on Tuesday. “We used 3 million gallons of water.” That resulted in a boil order for Milan, he said.

“We drained a tower real quick,” he said. “The water department flipped a switch to get water from Rock Island.”

At one point, the roof collapsed, and created debris that created a barrier to firefighters and investigators, he said. Brandt Construction brought in an excavator to help, he said.

The blaze apparently began in the area of a crematorium and a storage garage, he said.

Fitzpatrick has spoken with representatives from the company, and they plan to rebuild, he said.

Fitzpatrick himself wasn’t at the scene – he had just gotten married. Crews kept him updated with photos. His crews, he said “did a hell of a job” with assistance from Rock Island.

Other companies who assisted included Coyne Center, Andalusia and Coal Valley, he said.

The state fire marshal’s office continues to investigate the blaze, he said.

Local 4 News will continue to provide details about the fire and the cleanup when they are available.

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