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Colona 7-Eleven thanks fire department for saving store during January fire

A late-night fire on Jan. 15 destroyed a next-door laundromat, but the Colona Fire Department was able to save the 7-Eleven.

COLONA, Ill. — Colona firefighters were recognized on Wednesday for their efforts fighting a fire in January.

A large blaze broke out just after 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 at a laundromat in Colona off Illinois Route 84 and 1st Avenue.

"The weather was pretty cold. It was almost zero out," said Colona Fire Chief John Swan. "We fought that fire all through the night until we got it knocked down."

A 7-Eleven convenience store is right next to the laundromat.

"They were here within less than five minutes, and the roof had already been engulfed of the laundromat," said store owner Greg Evans. "The fire departments really jumped into action and immediately started putting water on the fire. It continued to get out of control, so they immediately moved over to the store to try to save the roof and save the store."

The laundromat was a total loss, but the Colona volunteer firefighters were able to successfully save the 7-Eleven. The store sustained water damage and was closed through the middle of April.

"We feel really good to be able to keep one of our businesses alive today," Swan said.

Evans said he wanted to thank the department for their quick efforts that saved his business. On Wednesday, the 7-Eleven hosted the first responders for a barbeque and Evans presented Swan with a plaque, reading: "Quad Cities Retail Groups and 7-Eleven proudly present this plaque to the Colona Community Fire Protection District for their efforts in battling the 7-Eleven fire of Jan. 15, 2022, and for their everyday efforts in protecting the citizens of Colona."

"(They're) putting their life on the line every day," Evans said. "Fighting a fire is very dangerous and it just really shows how committed they are to their own community and help protecting the citizens of their own local community."

The Colona Fire Department is all volunteer-based. Swan said he has about 24 volunteers on staff right now, but he is looking for more volunteer firefighters during the daytime hours.

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