Historic Willowbrook Ballroom destroyed by fire

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WILLOW SPRINGS -- Firefighters were still battling a blaze that has already devastated the historic Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs, IL as of 4:45 p.m. Friday afternoon.

A fire on the building's roof was initially reported around 2 p.m. Friday, and firefighters responding to the scene confirmed the building was empty before starting to fight the blaze, according to a statement from the Tri-State Fire Protection District.

Fire officials said their efforts were hampered by access issues caused in part by the building's use of a bowstring truss roof, which meant firefighters could not go inside, as well as by poor water supply.
Multiple ladder trucks were on the scene, still battling the blaze as of 4:45 p.m.

The historic Willowbrook Ballroom was built to replace its predecessor, which was destroyed by fire in 1930.

"The loss of this historical building is a loss to the community," the Tri-State Fire Protection District said in a statement.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.