Building Fire-406 East 3rd Street, Sterling


On Friday, July 7th, at approximately 2:24am Sterling Police, Sterling Fire Department, Rock Falls Fire Department, and CGH EMS responded to a reported structure fire at 406 East 3rd Street, Sterling.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers and firefighters found fire throughout the third story of the building, heavy smoke throughout the building and a report of persons trapped inside. A female victim, whose name is not being released at this time, leaped from a third story window. That victim was transported to CGH Medical Center and later airlifted to St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford for her injuries. Her condition is unknown at this time. A male adult and a female child were able to escape to an adjacent roof and were rescued from that roof by firefighters. They were transported to CGH Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and smoke inhalation and later released.

As of this time, at least 2 residents are unaccounted for. Sterling Police are asking that anyone that may have family or friends that reside at the building and have been unable to reach those persons, to please contact the Sterling Police Department at 815-632-6640.

As of the time of this release, Sterling fire crews remain on scene. The cause of the fire is under joint investigation by the Sterling Police Department, Sterling Fire Department, Office of the State Fire Marshall, ATF, and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services.

Due to the nature of the investigation and the potential for further collapse of the building façade, East 3rd Street (Illinois Route 2) from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time until the area can be secured and the building stabilized. A press release and social media notification will be released when the road is fully opened.

The City is grateful for the joint response by numerous departments and partners. Assisting Fire Departments included Dixon Rural, Dixon City, Milledgeville, Prophetstown, Morrison, Fulton, Polo, Tampico, Erie, and Clinton (Iowa). Sterling Police were assisted by Rock Falls Police Department, Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department, and the Illinois State Police. The Salvation Army assisted on scene and the American Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.

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