Prophetstown still recovering, 6 months after fire

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 10:17 a.m.CDT

PROPHETSTOWN — Six months after a fire destroyed a swath of the northern Illinois community's downtown, officials in Prophetstown say they're still recovering from the massive blaze.

Mayor Steve Swanson tells WNIJ Radio rebuilding work is expected to be underway by May after a lengthy cleanup.

The July blaze destroyed eight buildings in the Whiteside County community, many of which were 150 years old.

Authorities say the fire was set in a recycling bin behind a restaurant. Two half-brothers are facing more than a dozen charges in juvenile court.

Swanson says the residents in the city of about 2,000 are "just looking ahead now, we aren't going to look behind us."

The mayor says he hopes the buildings will be designed to blend in with the rest of the historic downtown.

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