Four-Alarm Fire Destroys Iowa City Historic Building

On Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, a four-alarm fire destroyed one historic building and severely damaged another in downtown Iowa City, IA. That the fire was controlled and extinguished with fire spread to only one other building was fortunate considering...


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Access to the interior of the building was difficult due to the severe damage sustained by the structure. Fire department personnel secured all entrances, set up temporary fencing and then released the property to a company representative. Subsequent joint scene examinations with representatives for parties with an interest were held on Oct. 4, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 14.

Scene artifacts were collected during the examinations and secured by the engineering firm hired by Bruegger’s insurance carrier to coordinate the scene investigation. A joint examination of artifacts was conducted on Nov. 17 and 18 and on Jan. 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. The room of origin was determined to be the kitchen of the Bruegger’s restaurant. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.