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ALTON - Multiple fire agencies battled a destructive fire at Hatch & Kirk at 4758 Humbert Road, Alton, on Friday morning. The building was destroyed by a massive fire.

The call came out around 9:15 a.m. Friday, Godfrey Fire Protection District Chief Eric Cranmer said.

Chief Cranmer added that the initial call Friday was there had been a chemical explosion in the area along Humbert Road. Firefighters responded to witness light smoke at the scene and everyone was out of the Hatch & Kirk building. Quickly, the fire spread across the entire building and Chief Cranmer said multiple barrels of solvent caught fire.

Two alarms were called and Wood River brought its aerial truck. Brighton, Fosterburg, and Alton also responded with an aerial truck. Blackjack, Mo., fire department brought a third aerial truck because of the difficulty of the blaze, the chief said.

Chief Cranmer projected around 10 people were inside the building at work when the fire was discovered, but thankfully, all were able to get to safety. Firefighters battled terribly cold weather conditions in the teens and did their best to contain the fire, which was very difficult, the chief said.

Chief Cranmer contended all the firefighters who responded and fought valiantly to get the fire under control. He said three buildings on the property were saved from destruction because of the group's firefighting efforts.

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