Rural Ludlow shed destroyed by fire

LUDLOW — A mail carrier delivering to a rural Ludlow residence alerted the occupants of the home that their machine shed was on fire Thursday morning.

The blaze, fed by strong winds, destroyed the pole building located about 5 miles west of Ludlow at 3539 Champaign County Road 1200 East.

According to the Champaign County Recorder’s Office, the homestead is owned by Thomas and Laura Proctor.

Fire departments from five districts responded to the Sangamon Valley Fire Protection District’s call for mutual aid.

Sangamon Valley Fire Chief Eric Stalter said his department received the call at 11:57 a.m.

The pole building, which contained a backhoe, mowers, tools and “general equipment,” was a total loss, Stalter said. Firefighters were able to save the house located to the east of the shed.

Strong gusts fanned the flames.

“I think that takes the cake,” Stalter said, in terms of the strongest wind gusts he has encountered fighting a fire. “There was no stopping (the fire). When we got there, it had already vented through the roof.

“There was not much we could do. With the amount of wind, it was going to be impossible to knock it down before it consumed the entire building.”

Other fire departments assisting were Paxton, Rantoul, Thomasboro, Ludlow and Elliott. Stalter estimated 30 firefighters responded.

East Bend and Brown townships provided backhoes to spread out the debris to ensure the fire was extinguished.

No injuries were reported.

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