Around 5am this morning an explosion at the Corner Bar in downtown Rockford set the building ablaze.  The explosion was caused by a gas main underneath the restaurant and it has appeared to have done serious damage to the building.

Rockford Fire Chief Dave Jones told WOOD-TV 8 News that the crews fighting the blaze in the basement got out in the nick of time, “We’re very, very happy and luckily they were able to get out of the building before that explosion.”

The Corner Bar is the oldest brick structure in Rockford and is a true landmark in the community.  After hours of fighting the blaze, firefighters were able to locate the shut off valve to the gas main and completely extinguish the fire.

The owner of the Corner Bar put out this statement on their Facebook page.

For more information on the fire and to see additional pictures, you can head over to WOOD-TV8.