Residents of Fayetteville, Illinois, must boil their drinking water until further notice after six-hour fire destroyed a meat processing plant Monday night.
The order is expected to be in place for the next two days while the city water tower refill having been depleted by the firefighting operation at Deli Star Corporation, located about 35 miles southeast of St. Louis, local media report.
At about 10 p.m., flames broke through the roof of the plant during the evening shift. Six workers safely evacuated the building.
The fire soon escalated to five alarms requiring a mutual aid response from 14 surrounding fire departments. Insulation protecting the refrigerated warehouse drastically increased the flammable fuel load.
At the same time, a large farmhouse fire only three miles away added to the considerable drain on the public water supply. It is unknown if the two fires are related.
Deli Star, the largest employer in Fayetteville, operates with a staff of almost 130 people.