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Fire destroys Marion building

A Saturday night fire destroyed a Marion building.

The Marion Fire Department responded at about 7:36 p.m. to a fire at the former Blankenship Auto Parts building, which now serves as a prop warehouse for Artstarts.

By the time firefighters arrived at the 700 block of West Main Street, heavy smoke could be seen coming out of the top part of the structure, Marion Fire Chief Jerry Odum said.

With "the insides burned out," Odum said the building is being considered a total loss and said plans are to "push it in" Sunday morning.

He said the cause of the fire will remain unknown.

"We're not even going inside it," Odum said. "It's  going to be listed as undetermined. It's not safe to go inside, so so we're not going to go inside."

Odum said firefighters were told no one was in the building at the time of the fire.

At 11 p.m., water was still being applied to the roof of the building from four aerial ladders. 

Firefighters from six departments, including Herrin, Marion, Lake of Egypt, Williamson County Fire Protection District, Carterville and Goreville, assisted in fighting the fire. 

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