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Garage fire burns at north Normal apartments

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NORMAL — A garage fire in a north Normal apartment complex is under investigation. 

Normal firefighters just before 4 p.m. Thursday found heavy smoke coming from the south end of a nine-car detached garage at the Ironwood Gardens Apartments at 2000 N. Linden St.

Garage doors were cut or removed to allow access to the fire and a ventilation hole was cut through the roof to prevent the fire from spreading, fire officials said.

The blaze was brought under control within about 25 minutes, though firefighters remained on scene for about an hour longer to extinguish hot spots.

Matt Swaney, spokesman and fire inspector for the Normal Fire Department, said the fire was reported by someone calling in directly to the station.

“If there is a fire, or if you need to report any emergency — don’t wait. Call 911 immediately,” Swaney said. “Every minute a fire is burning, it doubles in size, so if it takes you two or three minutes to look up a phone number to call, that fire has already doubled in size two or three times. Worse yet, if the firefighters in that station were out on another call, your phone call could potentially go unanswered and cause additional delays to our response.”

No injuries were reported in the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A damage estimate was not available Friday morning, though officials said the fire damage was isolated to the southernmost stall of the garage. Smoke extended throughout the building’s connected attic space.

Photos: Last week Bloomington-Normal firefighters batted a blaze on South Linden Street

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.


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Investigators are still searching for a cause to Saturday’s morning train derailment in uptown Normal, which damaged at least 16 cargo cars on a Union Pacific train. Cleanup and repair on the track will continue this week, but one of the two lines is now open and trains have been moving through town.

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