It took a licking and keeps on ticking: Corvette removed from burned-out building

A Corvette that had been stored in a building in the 100 block of South Tanner Street that was gutted by fire is removed from the second floor Friday morning. Owner Marion Valentine then got in the vehicle and it started right up.

RANTOUL — Demolition continued Friday on the building formerly known as the Frazier building in the 100 block of South Tanner Street that was destroyed by fire Jan. 1.

For several decades, the building housed a mechanic’s garage, where work took place on both the first and second floors. Vehicles were lifted to the second floor by an elevator.

Valentine with Corvette

Owner Marion Valentine, left, is shown with the Corvette that he owns after it was brought out of the second floor of the building that was gutted by fire New Year's Day. The building is being demolished. Valentine got in the vehicle, and it started right up.

In recent years, the building, owned by Marion Valentine, was used as a workshop and for storage. The north portion of the building housed TT Distribution Fasteners & Tool Sales, which has found a new home in the 100 block of East Sangamon Avenue.

 On Friday afternoon, a vintage Corvette owned by Valentine, was lifted out of the second floor.

The car still runs. Valentine started it up not long after it descended from its lofty home.

He said the interior is a total loss due to water damage from firefighting efforts. Valentine said he is not sure if he will restore the Corvette.

On Wednesday, a service support pole near the building was broken during demolition efforts, shutting off power to an area downtown.

Rantoul Public Works Director Greg Hazel said the pole, located near the northeast corner of the property, was broken.

“Residential apartments and a commercial property lost power,” Hazel said.

Village electric personnel worked to replace the pole, resag the service conductors and restore electric service to customers.

The building was deemed a total loss after the late-night fire. Investigators said the fire appeared to have started in the area of a wood-burning stove located in the building.