LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — An overnight fire has destroyed CD Source, in the former Park Theatre, on North 2nd Street.
The street was closed to traffic Tuesday morning as multiple agencies work to extinguish fires at the store, at 5723 N 2nd Street.
Loves Park Fire said between three and four fires were ongoing inside the store. Cranes were dowsing the building with water around 3 a.m. Firefighters also cut holes into the building before going inside to battle the flames.
There has not been any word yet on any injuries–or what could have sparked the fire.
Departments on scene include Cherry Valley Department, Loves Park Fire Department, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, and Capron Rescue Squad District.
CD Source resold used CDs, DVDs, records, video games, stereo equipment, and collectibles. The business, which opened in 1995, previously held locations in Forest Plaza and in downtown Rockford before moving to Loves Park in 2019.
CD Source was the latest tenant of the building, the site of the former Park Theatre, which opened in 1948.
The movie theatre was made out of an Army surplus Quonset hut. In the 1970’s it became an adult movie theater, the Park Art Theatre, and closed in 1978. It has since been home to several resale shops, including a craft store, Crafts Plus.
Many locals could not believe it, and some said that they had to see for themselves to know that the store was really gone.
“It’s just gone, it’s just gone, I just can’t believe it, I’m in shock, I really am in shock,” said Ray M., a regular shopper at CD Source. “That’s why I had to come up here and take a look at it.”
Ray visited the Loves Park store three to four times a week. He is a drummer, plays bass and collects records. Music is important to him, and the place that was like a second home to him is now gone.
“I know that things can happen, you know, but I never thought that this place would burn down,” Ray said.
The recognizable marquee with CD Source’s logo collapsed at one point.
“The type of construction with this building presented some unique hurdles for us to get over,” said Battalion Chief Greg Kunce of the Loves Park Fire Department. “It took a while to get inside to the scene of the fire.”
Loves Park resident Ted Hart said he is sad to see that just a shell of a building is all that is left behind, and that he will now have to find somewhere else to find vinyl records.
“It’s really a shame to see such a landmark going up in flames, because after he started painting the building it was such a attraction driving up and down North Second Street, and now it’s all gone,” Hart said.
Ray hopes that the owner will be able to recover from this major loss.
“I mean, you could open another record store be, he ain’t ever going to get an inventory like he had here, you know,” Ray said. “Like I said, it took him a life time to build that up.”
There is still no work on what could have sparked the fire. A GoFundMe has been set up to support the owner.