It's a smoldering wasteland at the former FloorSource Wholesale and Supply warehouse off Dolan Drive and W. Pierson Road after firefighters worked through the night to quench a raging fire. The rolling black smoke visible from miles away Thursday now just slowly rises from the rubble.
"I'm tired. I'm barely standing," said Mt. Morris Twp. Assistant Fire Chief Elmer Wilson. He pulled an all-nighter commanding the scene where 80 firefighters from several departments battled unrelenting flames fueled by carpeting, padding and gallons of glue.
??The wind coming out of the west and just a big ball of flames, a fast-moving fire,?? Wilson described. He was back Friday morning to watch for hot spots and flare-ups.
Though the warehouse is a total loss, crews saved the showroom and office next door, a big relief for manager Dan Schon.
??These guys just knocked this thing down, they had a lot to deal with, they asked us a lot of questions, they kept our office intact, which helped out a lot of paperwork, and you know, didn't know if they were gonna do it," Schon said.
No one was hurt in the fire. Schon had locked up for the night, just moments before the fire flared up.
When it became clear he'd lose this building, Schon said, calls from loyal customers help dull the blow.
??They're still calling today,?? Schon said. ??Actually broke my phone last night, I had to go over to Verizon and get a new phone this morning."
And it's for his customers Schon is hustling to open for business again.
By Monday, FloorSource will be shipping supplies and up and running from a temporary space.
??We don't mess around,?? Schon said.
It??s business as usual for Schon, and for the investigators looking for clues in the ashes.