DURAND, Ill. (WTVO) — Stateliners are picking up the pieces after a massive barn fire in Winnebago County.
The fire broke out around 5:00 p.m. Monday at a farm on Patterson Road near Durand. Fire crews say strong winds fueled the flames.
RV’s and boats reportedly stored inside the barn. No one was inside at the time and no one was hurt.
The fire is costing a local small business owner thousands of dollars. He returned to the site today, trying to figure out the next steps.
“It’s going to be devastating,” said Troy Rische, the owner of Rische Log & Barn Builders.
For Troy Rische, this fire could be even more devastating for his small business than he originally feared. All of the materials he stored on Freeport Road burned in Monday’s fire.
“This was two large buildings, a very large pole building or storage building, and this also was a large pole building that I leased for my business, and had it full of reclaimed building materials,” he explained.
Multiple fire departments attacked the massive blaze.
“I was completely worried and I drove down here, I live about 5 miles west of here, and I drove down here and I couldn’t get anywhere near the place,” said Rische. “With the wind yesterday, I think it got out of hand fast.”
One day later, Rische says his job just got a lot more difficult.
“It’s a 100% loss, I don’t think there’s a thing here that could be saved,” he explained. “To replace that material is a challenge, to say the least.”
“Lots of this material I’ve either bought or we’ve reclaimed from older buildings, and obviously a lot of them are upwards of 100 years old,” added Rische. “The price of lumber right now is, I’ve heard upwards of 200%, and then our reclaim material is even higher than that.”
Now he’ll have to go back and reassess some of his projects he has lined up.
“Unfortunately some of this material was spoken for, and was intended to go into a few of my projects, jobs that I’m doing, and I’m hoping that there might be some of it salvageable.”