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Fire extinguished in trash bin at Mattoon mall

Mattoon firefighters extinguished a fire in a trash bin full of construction debris Tuesday at the Cross County Mall with the assistance of contractors working nearby.

MATTOON -- Firefighters doused flames in a large trash bin full of construction debris Tuesday at the east end of the Cross County Mall.

Firefighters from the Mattoon Fire Department were dispatched at 12:12 p.m. to a report of smoke emanating from a bin next to the former Sears storefront, which is being renovated for use as the new location for the Mattoon Rural King.

While firefighters were en route, a contractor used a forklift to move the trash bin away from the building as flames starting showing from the burning construction debris. Firefighters then arrived at the scene and quickly knocked down the flames.

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After the flames were knocked down, contractors opened the front of the bin and used a bucket loader to help the firefighters reach construction debris that was still smoldering. Firefighters cleared the scene by 1:01 p.m.

Capt. Rex Barnes said the damage to the mall appeared to be mostly limited to the fire scorching siding material on the east side of the southeast corner of the building. Barnes said the cause of the fire is unknown. He said contractors reported that they had not placed any additional materials in the bin on Tuesday.

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