Massive Fire Claims Classic Cars

A lot of automotive history went up in flames last week in southeast Illinois. A four-alarm fire destroyed several vehicles at Country Classic Cars. The fire started around 8 p.m. and approximately 100 firefighters from 13 different departments did everything they could to save the business. However, five buildings, one of which housed as many as 150 vehicles, were a total loss.

“They don’t make them like this anymore,” said Russ Noel, owner of Country Classic Cars. “A lot of those cars in there, I’ll never replace them probably.”

The blaze could be seen from miles away. Witnesses said smoke was so thick they had to close nearby roads. About five percent of the cars were owned by folks who put their vehicle under consignment. The business kept about 600 cars dating from the 1920s to the 1980s on the property. About a quarter of those cars burned.

When dawn broke, the magnitude of the devastation could be seen. Favorite cars of collectors had been turned into charred debris.

There were no fire hydrants in the area. “We were required to truck in water,” said Staunton Fire Chief Rick Haase.

Investigators with the Illinois State Fire Marshall were on the scene to get the whole story. It took firefighters more than two hours to bring the fire under control. Noel is not sure what the damages will add up to but did add that all of the car titles were saved. ​

Source: Fox 2 Now