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Two restaurants damaged by fire in downtown Galesburg

GALESBURG, Illinois -- A fire downtown caused significant damage to two restaurants.

A passerby heading to work reported seeing smoke around 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 5th in the area of Main Street and North Prairie Street where The Cellar and Fig's Italian Steakhouse are located, according to Galesburg Fire Chief Tom Simkins.

The Cellar and Fig's are in the same building, downstairs and upstairs respectively, and have the same owners.

Chief Simkins said the fire appeared to be in the kitchen at Fig's; that's where most of the heavy burning was.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and ended up putting a hole in the roof for ventilation, said Chief Simkins.  He said, fortunately, the department was in the middle of a shift change when they were called to the scene, which allowed them to maximize their attack on the fire.

With significant smoke and structural damage, firefighters ended up staying at the restaurant location until around 10 a.m., that's when investigators started looking over the scene.

Some people in a neighboring building were evacuated as a precaution, Chief Simkins said. Crews also temporarily closed down a nearby street, but it has since been reopened.