Firefighters are investigating the cause of Friday night's fire. No one was injured as crews battled flames at WIRCO, Foundry Division, in the 1700-block of West Washington Street. The fire started just before 9 pm.
"It looked like it was really foggy and then the closer you got, you could smell it," says Kamey Evans.
Neighbors reported seeing smoke, but it quickly turned into a 3-alarm fire. Crews from Champaign, Urbana and Savoy responded.
They battled flames for about five-and-a-half hours, and were able to put it out just after 2 am, Saturday. They stayed throughout the morning, putting out hot spots and cleaning up.
Crews say the fire was concentrated in one building. They were able to stop it from spreading to the rest. When they got the worst of it out from on top, ground crews went inside.
"They cut into the building and they cut into one of these steel garages and then you could see when they opened the garage you could see the flames in the building," says Chris Jones.
Neighbors were able to stay in their homes during the incident. They did have to find alternative ways to get there since firefighters shut down Mattis Avenue during portions of the evening.
Dozens of people watched the scene unfold, knowing what they saw wasn't good, but hoping for the best.
"It's terrible to see that, all the hard work that you put into make sure people have their products and everything," says Moody Willis, a former WIRCO employee.
"WIRCO has been a good neighbor as of late, and I hate to see something like that happen to them. It is a little bit frightening, a fire like that. I'm glad it didn't get me bigger. I just hope they're able to rebuild, maintain those jobs and go on about their lives. I hope everything works out for them," says neighbor Ed Wachala.
Fire officials don't know what started the fire yet. A WIRCO owner says he's not sure how much damage there is, but is expecting to meet with the insurance company Monday. He says they'll be back open for business.