Local News

Centralia Fire Chief issues safety tips on use of space heaters following Wednesday fire

Centralia Fire Chief John Lynch is providing safety tips on the use of space heaters to stay warm safely following a Wednesday morning fire that destroyed a garage at a Centralia home.

  • Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
  • Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleepingareas and test them once a month.
  • Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Police Beat for Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

A 40-year-old Sandoval woman was in custody Wednesday on an outstanding Marion County felony failure to appear warrant for possession of a controlled substance. Bond on the warrant for Reda Allen of North Cedar is $15,000. She was arrested by Sandoval Police.

Fire destroys an attached garage of a Centralia home Wednesday morning

Centralia City Firemen say a fire destroyed an attached garage to a home at 1103 North Elm Street, but they were able to stop the fire from spreading to the home.

Fire Chief John Lynch says a Centralia Street Department employee Charlie Gierten spotted the fire at the Willesha House and Lorraine Forest home and helped get the two and three children out of the residence. They had been allowing a man, Andrew Bryant, to temporarily stay in the garage. He was not home when the fire started.

Firefighters say flames were showing from the side of the garage upon their arrival. All off-duty firemen were called in to assist with the firefighting effort and got a quick stop.

The garage was a separate metal shed that had been attached to the home. The only damage to the house itself was minor smoke damage.

Firemen say the fire started from a space heater. Bryant lost his bedding and other items the garage.

One firefighter was injured when handling a fire hose and trying to pull a plastic crate that was beginning to melt that contained a large dog outside.

Lynch says he was successful in saving the dog. The firefighter was taken to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital for a pulled back. He was released following treatment.

The fire call came in at 7:45 Wednesday morning with firemen on the scene for about an hour and a half.


City of Centralia going forward with Spring Clean Up Week next week  

Centralia officials say the Spring Cleanup Week scheduled for Monday, April 6th, through Friday, April 10th, will go on as scheduled.

The curbside pickup service is provided by the City of Centralia Public Works Department. Participation is limited to single-family residences, townhomes, condominiums, and apartments that do not exceed four units per building.

All items are to be placed on the curb by 6 a.m. on the assigned pickup day. Any item(s) not longer than 5 feet or more than 50 pounds left at the CURBSIDE at any of the above-defined residential units will be picked up except for the following:

  1. Yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, brush and tree material
  2. Household refuse/garbage that should be put out for normal collection
  3. Large quantities of rocks, concrete and construction materials including roofing materials, siding and lumber (small amounts will be taken, no more than a 5-gallon bucket)
  4. Tires or cans of paint
  5. Large automobile parts such as engines and transmissions
  6. Lawnmowers or small engines which still contain gasoline or oil
  7. DO NOT mix with trash to be picked up on normal collection days and DO NOT pile items on top of other items. Crews WILL NOT sort through the material. If an unapproved item is on top of an approved item, your items will not be collected.

The City is continuing to accept white goods such as freezers, refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, dryers, etc.  Residents are also asked to place smaller items in a container such as a box or a bag. Please consider recycling any cardboard, glass, aluminum and paper products when Clean & Green’s Recycling Center located on West McCord Street reopens.

Even if your garbage pickup is in your alley, these items are to be placed curbside. The route WILL ONLY BE COVERED ONCE, NO EXCEPTIONS.  The City requests each resident’s cooperation in this project.

nurse - doctor

State working to get licensing up and going for student nurses and doctors

The state of Illinois is looking for health workers to fill in during the response to COVID-19. They are being sought to help staff overflow hospitals and to bring relief in the coming weeks to nurses and doctors who could be overworked, sick and stressed out.

Governor JB Pritzker says that his administration is working out the details to get professional licensing up and going for student nurses and doctors who were weeks from graduating when schools were closed.

“Giving temporary licenses to people who are mostly trained, nearly graduated.  We have nursing students that are a month or two away from graduation, they are capable of being health care professionals even now, we need them in the health care field.  Same thing with medical students and others.”

Pritzker has also touted the pending return of hundreds of recently retired healthcare workers or those that transitioned out of the field to other work as key to helping keep the state’s healthcare network stay up and running during the peak of COVID-19.

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