Authorities are investigating the origin of a fire Monday evening, May 3, at Walmart in Litchfield that lead to the evacuation and temporary closure of the store.
According to Litchfield Fire Department Chief Joe Holomy, the Litchfield Police Department is working with fire and arson investigators who are reviewing video footage as part of investigation. Anyone with information about the fire should contact the Litchfield Fire Department at 217-324-8171.
According to the chief, the Litchfield Fire Department was dispatched to Walmart at 7:32 p.m. Monday after a report of flames and smoke in the store. Evacuation was underway when firefighters arrived to find smoke throughout the store.
Two employees were attempting to extinguish a fire in the rear of the building with fire extinguishers, and the store’s sprinkler system activated to aid in control of the blaze. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and shut down the sprinkler system to control water damage.
The fire department requested a mutual aid ventilation fan, and the Raymond-Harvel Fire Department and Mt. Olive Fire Department arrived to assist with ventilation.
The scene was under control at 7:45 p.m., and two Walmart employees were evaluated for smoke inhalation but refused transport to the hospital.
Damage estimates are still being calculated, and the store will be closed for several days for clean-up.
The Litchfield Police Department, Hillsboro Area Ambulance, and Gillespie Fire Department also responded to the scene.