Staunton Fire District and more than 10 other fire departments were dispatched to respond to a multiple-alarm blaze at a car dealership in Staunton that started Tuesday around 8 in the evening.
Crews arrived to find a well-involved fire had started at a north building around the main office at Country Classic Cars. The fire quickly spread through the building as passersby reported hearing explosions and glass breaking as the fire engulfed the warehouse building that reportedly housed over 100 classic and antique cars.
Staunton recruited many nearby fire departments to help control the fire and others to help tender water to the remote location. Units the BenGil Post spotted on-scene included Staunton, Gillespie, Benld, Mt. Olive, Litchfield, Shoal Creek, Prairietown, Hamel, Alhambra and Worden.
By 10:00 p.m., Staunton’s fire captain reported most of the fire as being “knocked down” and anticipated being on-scene at least until early Wednesday morning. The frontage road where the business is located was closed and traffic was being diverted from the overpass near Interstate 55. Illinois State Police was called to the scene to move along vehicles who parked along I-55 to watch the blaze.
Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl posted to social media around 9:00 p.m. for citizens to avoid the old Route 66 area “due to a large structure fire”. Kahl said emergency personnel were trying to get to the location to battle the fire.
American Red Cross from Litchfield and Springfield responded to the scene for hospitality for first responders.
Country Classic Cars is situated on historic Route 66 and East Frontage Road along Interstate 55 between the Staunton and Mt. Olive exits. The dealership’s website says they “not only a large display of classic cars and trucks, but also a garage/service area, inside showroom, and a historic gift shop.”
A recently aired commercial by Country Classic Cars claimed there were 600 classic and antique cars on-site.
No injuries were reported at the time of publication. Updates will be added when available.