Firefighters remained on the scene of a three alarm fire early this morning that destroyed 140 used Auto Sales in Cottage Hills. Cottage Hills, Bethalto, Meadowbrook and Rosewood Heights Fire Departments responded to a call reporting the blaze just after 9pm, but Cottage Hills Fire Chief Robert Simmons says that an employee began fighting the fire himself before calling for help.
The employee has been identifed as 47-year old Mike Francis of Granite City who works as the night manager at 140 Used Auto Sales. He was transported to Alton Memorial Hospital and remains in intensive care while he is treated for smoke inhalation and for burns on his hands, face and shoulders.
Once on scene they called for assistance from other local departments including Godfrey, Holliday Shores, Brighton-Betsey Ann, and Dorsey. Simmons says they needed the tanker trucks from Brighton and Dorsey because of hydrant issues.
The fire was contained to the building, which Simmons credits to a fast response from mulitple departments.
The building is considered a total loss and the cause of the fire is stil under investigation