Friday, January 23, 2009

Everyday Towing Hero In IL

Here's the story from The News-Gazette:

URBANA – Fire Wednesday night destroyed a building north of Urbana that was undergoing renovation in hopes of attracting a new business and also displaced an apartment dweller.

David Spillers, owner of the property at 2506 N. Cunningham Ave., said his older brother, Rick Spillers, was living in the upstairs apartment but got out safely. "A tow truck driver saw the flames, beat on his door and said 'Something is on fire.' My brother was calling me," Spillers said.

Carroll Fire Protection District Chief Steve Thuney identified the tow truck driver as Paul Grindley, who was passing by shortly after 9 p.m. and saw heavy smoke. Spillers said his brother is a diabetic who had recently broken his foot and that Grindley helped him out.

Spillers said his brother gets his medication in 90-day supplies from the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System in Danville, so that will have to be replaced. The large machine shed building most recently housed BBA Auto Sales, Spillers said. That business had moved out and he was in the process of cleaning up the 3,000 square feet of retail space in the front and the 3,000 square feet of warehouse space in the back of the steel building. The upstairs apartment, he said, had been remodeled about two years ago. "There was a ton of junk in there from the previous tenant. He was doing auto body work and there was paint and paint thinners in there. We were tearing down drywall," he said.

Thuney said the fire is being investigated as accidental. It started on the first floor and spread upward. About 20 firefighters from Carroll, Eastern Prairie and Edge Scott were there
about three hours. Savoy firefighters stood by at the Carroll station while Carroll firefighters were at the fire.

Spillers and his wife Ginger own Ohana Pools Spas & Billiards and were considering moving their business from East University Avenue in Urbana to the North Lincoln address. "We hadn't really
determined what we were going to do with the business. This has been a rental property and was needing rehabilitation," he said. Spillers said he has insurance. He was unable to give a dollar estimate of the damage.

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