By Vinde Wells
An Oregon business was severely damaged Aug. 2 in a fire of undetermined cause.
Oregon Assistant Fire Chief Randy Travis said the cause of the fire at Oregon Lawn & Farm, 304 S. First St., is still undetermined. The Illinois State Fire Marshal is assisting with the investigation.
"It appears to have started below a work bench," he said.
He said the building and its contents sustained significant damage in the blaze which was reported at 6:32 p.m.
"I wouldn't say it's a total loss, but there's a lot of structural damage," Travis said. "They lost virtually everything inside. The inside has damage from the smoke, heat, and water."
Several lawnmowers were outside when the fire occurred, Travis said, but a few were inside the building along with tools, equipment, and merchandise.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke showing at the roof-line at the west end of the building, he said.
He said the owners, Rich and Robert Akers, had left the business around 5 p.m.
Firefighters from the Stillman Valley, Byron, and Mt. Morris Fire Departments assisted at the scene.
Oregon firefighters were at the scene of a fatal ATV accident on Devil's Backbone Road, southwest of Oregon, when they were called to the fire.