EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville Fire Department Chief James Whiteford described the storage building at R.P. Lumber in Edwardsville as “a total loss” from a fire today.

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“By the time we arrived, one of the storage buildings that house supplies was on fire,” Whiteford said. “We went to a second alarm because there were a couple of other good-sized buildings close to it. We did keep the fire from spreading to the other buildings. There were three or four houses across the street that had radiant heat exposure. Those houses were on Schwarz Street and did not catch fire.”

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Whiteford explained the team of firefighters battled the fire hard to protect the buildings.

“The firefighters train for situations like this one. The temperatures made it challenging. A couple of the hydrant couplings were frozen and it was difficult to make connections. It also takes longer to get there. The firefighters did an excellent job.”

Because of the power outage in homes near the fire, Whiteford said temporary warming stations have been organized at Wildey Theatre and the Meyer Center YMCA.

Chris Rhodes also contributed to this story.

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