Things Aren’t Adding Up in Galesburg Fire Investigation

It’s been more than a week since a fire destroyed the former Hawkinson Manufacturing building in Galesburg, Illinois. The investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing, but firefighters say there are things about this fire that don’t make sense.

“Because it’s hard to explain we’re trying to get all the pieces that we can put together of this puzzle and get a good answer,” says Galesburg Fire Marshal Dan Foley.

He and other fire investigators are trying to figure out how the fire spread so quickly. The problem they say is this old brick building, constructed with heavy timbers caught fire and that fire spread much quicker than normal.

“There are models they can put in and calculate how fast a fire should grow, and it was faster than we would normally see in a building like this,” says Foley.

Because of those abnormalities the Galesburg Fire Department has reached out for help. In the last week experts from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, as well as investigators from the building’s insurance company have all examined the scene, providing their own unique insights into what may have happened.

“The fire behavior was a little less easy to explain, so that’s an easy trigger for us to ask for assistance in determining cause and origin,” explains Foley.

The fire is not considered suspicious at this time. The Galesburg Fire Department is simply labeling it undetermined. We’re told it could take several months to find the cause of last week’s fire.

You may also remember a firefighter fell out of a second story window fighting the fire. He suffered a broken collarbone and a concussion. We’re told he’s recovering nicely and is in good spirits.

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