Illinois Route 97 south of Petersburg was closed for a short time Thursday afternoon after a fire ripped through a metal and wood structure on the south side of town, a short distance from downtown.
The building, a private garage which housed ten classic cars, appears to be a total loss. No one was injured; the building near the corner of 97 and Athens Blacktop, was unoccupied. The fire is estimated to have caused about $200,000 in damage.
The fire started shortly after noon and it was struck before 3:00. It’s unclear how it started, but one of the owners, Mike Bell, says faulty wiring may have been to blame.
Athens, Tallula, Williamsville, Sherman, Middletown and Petersburg crews responded.
Route 97 has since reopened.