Firefighters from a number of communities bared the cold Sunday morning and fought a blaze in a three-story building downtown La Salle.
La Salle firefighters first arrived on scene at 7:30 a.m. to 917 First St. and identified heavy smoke on the second and third floors.
La Salle Fire Chief Andy Bacidore said firefighters attempted to make entry but encountered too much heavy fire and had to pull back.
“It being in the middle of the block we were concerned with losing some more buildings,” Bacidore said.
Community supports firefighters
The firefighters had some help in staying warm from local businesses such as Sweet Sadie’s Playspace.
The business was prepped to host many children for a noon birthday party, but beforehand took in a number of firefighters to give them shelter from the cold.
The owner’s mother, Barbara Piland, heard about the fire on Twitter before her daughter reached out asking if Piland could come to the store as the firefighters asked to use the large, open space.
“I told her, ‘I haven’t been plowed out, but I’ll do what I can,' ” she said.
Piland said she was happy to offer the firefighters a place to “catch a breather and a minute to warm up.”
Coffee was provided both by Sweet Sadie’s Playspace and the nearby Beck’s gas station in La Salle.
Stefanie Madara of Beck’s and two employees brought a number of coffees to be left at the play space as well as taken directly to the fire.
Piland said living in a small town has its advantages.
“Everybody’s coming together making sure they’re taken care of and from here it looks like they’ve got it handled,” she said.