January 28, 2006

Fire aftermath

The rubble from the fire is still hot, and they are still using a few hundred gallons of water a day to cool it off (having used a couple million gallons on the fire itself). And we have a better perspective on the more long-term damage.

The big news is that there may have been a casualty after all, but we still aren't sure. A guy who had been at a bar across the street, and was seen walking down Main a half hour before the fire was called in, has been missing since then. No body has been found, but it'll be a while yet before they can get in there.

The middle building on Prairie took a ton of damage from the collapsing wall. The upstairs apartments lost their living rooms, so the tenants were mostly able to recover kitchenware and some clothes, but lost most of the stuff they had in their main living space. The downstairs businesses lost their back rooms and offices. The news is not all bad for them, though; the Frame Works owner has recovered a painting from his office he thought lost, one that his mother had made thirty years ago before dying in a car crash. Not a scratch on it. Most of his inventory was okay, and he's setting up shop in the old Galesburg Glass storefront on Broad. The scrapbook store was moving to internet-only operation anyway (they were already doing clearance sales), so they appear to have just done that a bit early. The building itself, though? They won't know for a month or two, but there's a good chance it'll have to come down too.

A wall on the other side crashed into the top of the lawyers' office building, actually buckling a structural support. At last report, they were fairly sure they could bring in some extra supports to shore it up.

An ember actually got under the roofing of Billiards on Main, across the street, and started a fire there that nobody could find for a little while; fortunately the only damage there was a bit of wall scorching in a stairwell, nothing structural.

No word on the Red Cross building. The rumours a few days ago were that it, or at least all the equipment inside, may have been a loss, but maybe no news is good news, eh? They've temporarily moved their operations into a building the fire department uses for training.

That's it, then. Hopefully in the months to come we'll develop a good plan for that space. I definitely think condos should be somewhere in the mix, because there needs to be something downtown for the people who are at a point in their lives where they want to stop renting, but aren't interested in the picket-fence-and-a-yard route (or just don't like shoveling the sidewalk). Maybe some condo units over a large catering space with a broad hardwood floor at least 40' by 60'? I suppose that would be too much to hope for. :)

"If it is abortion that is actually being fought, criminalizing it is not the most effective answer. This should not surprise Christians---we are called to a much less adversarial and judgemental relationship with the people around us, and we should be even more eager to use this approach when the question involves young women who are routinely marginalized by our society." --Chris Tessone

Posted by blahedo at 2:45pm on 28 Jan 2006
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