Firefighters battle flames, truck crash in east central Illinois


WESTVILLE, Ill. (WAND) — For Jamie Beaver, Monday’s fire was more than just another call.

Westville is her hometown — and one of the last places she wants to respond to as a member of the Red Cross.

“I was approached by one of the gentlemen who lived in the apartment so we’re getting case [workers] to try to come in and take care of him and his family,” Beaver said.

A fire in downtown Westville burned through a second floor apartment, gutting the building. Crews from around east-central Illinois and western Indiana worked together to douse the flames. But the apartment is a total loss.

“To keep the city from running dry, we called in tanker trucks from other districts to supply us water,” said Westville Fire Chief Gary Wright.

One of those tankers operated by the Kickapoo Fire Protection District collided with a minivan in Tilton on its way to help with the fire. Wright said two firefighters and one other person were rushed to the hospital but are expected to be OK.

For Beaver, it’s always a mix of anxiety and hope watching the firefighters she knows so well do their job — and help her with hers.

“I can get what I need and I can get answers,” she said. “When I come, they know I have food so they want to talk to me.”

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