A fire broke out in a classic car dealership in Staunton, Illinois, on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, destroying 150 or more vintage cars. Firefighters estimated that the fire started around 8:00pm in one of the five buildings on the property. It was the main building, holding the 150 cars that were damaged. According to the news reports, the cars were a total loss.
The town of Staunton is about 40 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, and a haven for car collectors. The Country Classic Cars dealership that was involved in the five-alarm fire, has many cars on site that are on consignment. Nearly 100 Firefighters from 13 different fire departments attempted to stop the fire before it damaged all the vehicles in the main building.
Russ Noel, the dealership owner, claims that he will probably not be able to replace the cars lost because “They don’t make them like this anymore.” The business keeps about 600 cars dating from the 1920s to the 1980s on the property. Sadly, there were no fire hydrants in the area and all the water used to fight the fire had to be trucked in by the firemen.
Noel doesn’t plan on letting this slow him down. He told the news crew that he would reopen on Thursday and go to the car auction this weekend to purchase more cars.
Investigators were on scene on Wednesday to determine the cause of the fire. It is unknown what the cost of the damages are at this time.