Historic Carbondale building destroyed by fire demolished


Carson VanBuskirk | @carsonvanbDE

Kevin Wheetley, owner of The Wheetley Company, operates a track hoe on Feb. 21, 2019. Wheetley removes the remains of an apartment building that burnt down in November 2018.

By Brandi Courtois, Staff Reporter

Demolition of a historic building destroyed in a fire in November is nearly complete.

The property was constructed for Samuel W. Dunaway in 1881 and was later converted into an apartment building.

The Wheetley Company, owned by Kevin Wheetley, has been working on removing what remains of the building since last Wednesday.


(See more: Carbondale building built in 1881 destroyed in fire)

Kevin Wheetley gestured at the the rubble that now lays where the building once stood. “We’re trying to get most of the rest of it cleaned up before I create more,” he said.

Not much of the structure is left; early this morning only two walls remained and the smell from the fire was still present.

“Hopefully, without any hiccups, we’ll get a lot of this hauled off [today],” Wally Earll, one of the demolition workers, said.

Earll said it didn’t take them long to pull most of the building down. Now they are at the slow part, cleaning up, he said.

Michael Wright, owner of Wright Properties, said he’s been in the business since 1977 and bought the apartment building in 1980.

He plans to sell the lot once the demolition work is completed.


“I definitely came out on the short end of the stick,” Wright said. “It was definitely worth more than it was insured for.”

Jimmy Stanton, who works for Wright Properties, told the Daily Egyptian in November the building was a total loss. He said someone left a pan on the stove, but everyone was out of the building before it got bad.

The building was located to the west of the Carbondale Public Library and across the street from the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Staff Reporter Brandi Courtois can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @CourtoisBrandi.

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