Rockford firefighters responded to a call late the afternoon of Friday, July 17, when an ice cream machine at Rocky’s, 110 N. Main Street, downtown Rockford, caught fire. It was just before 5 p.m. when workers noticed smoke and called in the emergency. Rocky’s owners showed up quickly and watched with evacuated employees as firefighters went inside to contain any possible burning and to fan out the smoky interior.
“We’ve been here 20 years and nothing like this has ever happened,” said owner Sally Gardener.
The shop itself has been a mainstay in Rockford in the summer for about 35 years. “We’re just glad no one was hurt and the building didn’t burn down,” Gardener said. She said she was very grateful the fire started during business hours or the whole building could have caught fire.
Rocky’s had to close for the next day to clean the entire interior of the shop because of smoke damage. All opened food had to be thrown out and a new soft-serve machine ordered. The business reopened on Sunday, July 19.