Savoy fire damages building

An unidentified firefighter looks on as the State of Illinois Department for Children and Family Services, 1806 Woodfield Dr., in Savoy, burns from within. The roof fire was reported by a motorist passing by who notified the occupants in time to safely e Beck Diefenbach

By Sky Opila

Firefighters from six different departments were dispatched to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Building, 1806 Woodfield Dr., Savoy, Ill., with reports of a roof fire around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

There were about 10 employees inside the building when the roof fire began. An unknown driver that happened to be passing by stopped his vehicle and alerted people inside of the ensuing blaze overhead, witnesses said.

“This man driving by said the roof was on fire and we all evacuated the building,” said Alyssa Marcantonio, day-care licensing representative for the Department of Children and Family Services.

Although the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, witnesses and employees believe it may have been related to the roofing work that began earlier this week.

“We’ve had roofing people working since Monday, it might be related to that, I don’t know,” Marcantonio said.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Witnesses said that the unknown driver seemed to be educated about roofing.

    They said he told employees inside almost exactly what he thought the problem was.

    Inside the building were records and files that employees needed for work, Marcantonio said.

    Although nobody was injured in the blaze, the building sustained substantial damage, said Mike Phillips, captain of the Savoy Fire Department.

    “Most of the fire damage was contained to the east and southeast sides of the building,” Phillips said.

    “One hundred percent of the building was water damaged,” he added.

    As firefighters ran around the building, employees and members of the community stood underneath the awning of a building nearby and conversed about what they had seen.

    Laura Lyon, a Savoy resident, heard about the fire on TV during a breaking news brief.

    “I got here around 5 or 5:30 and I saw the building blaze up a little bit and a lot of smoke coming out,” Lyon said. “It’s terrible (what happened).”

    Reports are still unconfirmed about the exact details surrounding the incident, particularly its cause.