Dozens of Blackhawk, Coyne Center and Coal Valley firefighters fought off smoke and flames Monday night at Bonnett Wholesale Florist in Milan.
A compressor in the company’s compression room overheated and sparked the fire, Blackhawk Fire Assistant Chief Todd Fitzpatrick said.
Smoke extended into the building’s attic before firefighters removed the compression room’s metal roof to contain the fire.
Fitzpatrick said responders will be putting out hot spots and cleaning up the site until around 4 or 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Many of the business’ flowers are located adjacent to the compression room, said Bonnett’s maintenance supervisor Kelly Anderson, who was called to the scene to shut off the building’s power.
Greg Bonnett, co-owner, said the company’s third-shift employees who were working in a different part of the building when the fire started made it out safely.
Bonnett, which has been in business for 60 years, supplies flowers to approximately 900 floral shops, Anderson said.
“It makes you sick,” Anderson said. “I don’t understand how it could’ve happened.”