At 12:40, a fire was reported in the five story, vacant building at 301 South Main Street in Rockford.
The first units arrived three minutes later to find the fire showing from the first and second floors on the
north west corner. There was also heavy smoke from all other parts of this building. This fire was
defensive (meaning it was too dangerous to enter), right from the onset. The first alarm compliment was
four engines, two ladders, two district chiefs and one ambulance. Upon arrival, District 1 assumed
Command and called for a second alarm which brought two more engines, one more ladder and one
more ambulance. This meant that there were forty firefighters on scene in about twelve minutes. All
crews worked feverishly to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent buildings to the south. At one
time, there was also a small fire on the roof of the BMO Harris Center. That fire was quickly
extinguished by the companies already on scene. Twenty five firefighters were recalled to work; some
went to the scene and others protected the rest of the city. A MABAS alarm was called to have suburban
departments help protect the city. In all, some 55 firefighters assisted with the control of this fire. There
were no injuries and damage is estimated at $200,000.00. The fire is under investigation. A demolishing
crew was called in to take the the fifth floor tonight, and the rest of the building tomorrow. Fire crews
will be there all night extinguishing hot spots.