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Fire Marshal: Don’t burn the house down this Thanksgiving




Fried or smoked turkey is delicious.

But the Illinois State Fire Marshal wants to make sure everyone enjoys that deliciousness safely.

Open flames and hot oil don’t mix. The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is reminding people of that fact ahead of Thanksgiving.

Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said the most important thing is to keep the fryer or smoker away from the house.

“People, if it is cold outside, tend to want to stay inside. Which is really a bad idea,” Perez said. “Every cooking utensil should be at least 10 feet from anything combustible like your house. Especially with deep fryers, because of the danger of the grease overflowing down on to the fire. Which creates just a huge fireball.”

Also, don’t fill the fryer too full of oil, don’t heat the oil too hot, and never put a frozen or partially frozen turkey into the oil.

Perez also reminded people to make sure to grill or smoke turkey outside, never in an enclosed garage because of carbon monoxide.

“People leave their grills, or smokers, or fryers unattended,” Perez said. “If no one is paying attention when they are left unattended, things can go wrong and go wrong in a hurry.”

Article by Benjamin Yount, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit 

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Illinois News Network, publisher of, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.


MJ’s Fish & Chicken Express – Sunday Business Spotlight

Francisco Saravia



When I first met Jerome he was just getting started. As a matter of fact, I programmed his Point Of Sale (POS) so that he could start taking orders. He and I met because I had posted an ad on Craiglist about computer repair services. As an entrepreneur I am always excited to work with  other entrepreneurs.

Jerome began experimenting with foods and seasonings and cooking procedures because he had a plan. That plan was to turn his hobby into a career. His hobby of making food and sharing it with the community. After five years of research and confidence building Jerome and his brother Mark built a Food Trailer. That’s when MJs Fish and Chicken Express began. The first location was on 9th and South Grand. Later He moved to 2nd and South Grand and became a lunch destination for many people daily. Due to City Ordinances against concession food trucks Jerome had to build a free standing structure. Because of the controversies surrounding the city and ordinances Jerome started looking for a building of his own to house his hobby which had now become a full time business. Ironically after the nightmare of ordinances it was the City of Springfield that came through to make the dream happen. Jerome was able to use TIF Funds for help in purchasing the new restaurant on Enos Avenue. Source:

The new city code –- passed in April 2017 — bans food-truck operations within 300 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant. MJ’s sidestepped these limitations with the new 10-by-20 foot permanent building, complete with sewer and water lines.

Double bacon cheeseburger

Double bacon cheeseburger

Today Jerome and MJ’s Fish & Chicken Express are located at 716 East Enos Avenue.  I messaged him to see how he is doing at his new location but from the reviews I have no doubt he is onto a successful path. It takes perseverance and I am happy he was able to come out of the regulations of food trucks. Building a company is really  hard and there are so many obstacles. So many reasons to give up and quit. But Jerome has tremendous grit and resilience and he was able to see it through.

Here is the Menu

They are now open seven days a week with specials running Sunday through Tuesday.

Monday $0.50 Cent wings

Tuesday All you can eat fish when you buy a fish dinner 4:00pm to 8:00pm Sunday

They are also now serving breakfast from 7 AM to 8 PM




If you stop by let me know how the food was! Learn more about Jerome and his business by visiting his website

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