6 years ago today: Massive Springfield fire at pallet warehouse

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the massive Tri-State Pallet warehouse fire in Springfield.

The Jan. 6, 2015 fire at the warehouse, located at 270 Monroe St. is believed to have been the largest fire in Springfield since 1999 when the Crowell-Collier building burned.

The fire required 42 firefighters and 11 fire engines at the scene, plus Box 27 Associates, mutual aid vehicles and personnel, and a heavy police presence to close the overpass and other streets.

The fire reached more than 20 feet above the treeline and was fueled by thousands of wooden pallets stored in the warehouse complex, firefighters said.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

ExplorePHOTOS: Tri-State Pallet fire aftermath

Firefighters poured more than 1 million gallons of water on the flames and much of that water froze, both on the ground and on the crews, making it that more difficult to fight.

Temperatures also created dangerous conditions around the scene as sheets of ice formed - equipment began to freeze, including a fire house that was frozen solid.

Ice covered firefighters from head to toe when they came into the Springfield YMCA to use the restrooms and a gym as a warming center, Paul Weber, executive director of the Springfield Family YMCA previously said.

The fire took several days to extinguish.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

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The cause was officially undetermined, but firefighters believe it was sparked by a blowtorch from a scrapper stealing metal.

In the months after the fire, the division put an emphasis on code enforcement, Springfield Fire Chief Brian Miller previously said.

Miller was the Springfield Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal during the fire.

The fire wasn’t the result of improper storage, sprinklers or code enforcement, he said, but it highlighted the importance of those issues.

The remnants of the building were demolished in March of 2015.


By the numbers:

1 million: Approximate gallons of water used to fight massive fire

118,000: Approximate square feet in multiple buildings at industrial complex on Monroe Street, according to county records

40 to 50: Springfield firefighters rotated shifts overnight Tuesday into Wednesday to battle the flames

30: Fresh firefighters worked at the scene Wednesday

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