ALTON - Alton Fire Chief Jesse Jemison on Friday morning described the structure that remains at the McDonald’s location on Broadway as “a total loss.”
The state fire marshal’s office was called to investigate the scene on Thursday and Chief Jemison said there is not a definite cause of the fire yet. Jemison said there were no injuries in the fire. There were no workers or customers inside when the fire broke out.
The speculation has been the fire started in an air conditioning unit on the roof. The air conditioner and another unit both fell to the floor and ignited the fire while firefighters were fighting it on Thursday. Firefighters were called out of the inside and off the roof when they noticed the air conditioning unit started to sag, Chief Jemison said. The fire call came into the Alton Fire Department around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday.
“The business loss of McDonald’s will impact a lot of things downtown,” Chief Jemison said. “There are a lot of people who work there and eat there.”
The chief said Alton Public Works assisted them in the aftermath of the fire with a track hoe and will make it easier for the demolition process. Jemison said he was uncertain when the demolition of the building would occur and that is up to the owner at this stage.
The chief praised the Alton firefighters, East Alton, Godfrey Fire Protection District, and Flo Valley for their intense assistance during the fire. He said all the departments did a stellar job getting the fire under control and that it was a very difficult fire.
Chief Jemison said he was thankful all the firefighters went home safe from their work on Thursday.
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