UPDATE: Fire crews called back to Oelwein fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Fire crews called back to Oelwein fire

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by Danielle Wagner

OELWEIN (KWWL) A fire late Friday night damaged two businesses and several apartments in downtown Oelwein. Firefighters were called to the West Charles Mall around 10:30 p.m. Friday. They were on the scene until 8 p.m. Saturday night, according to fire officials because the fire kept reigniting. Around 10:45 Saturday night, a viewer called KWWL to say he could see flames shooting from the building and crews were back on scene.

John Larson was getting ready for bed Friday night, expecting to be at work Saturday morning. Then he heard something on the scanner.

"I have a scanner at home, and I heard on the scanner there was a fire downtown. It was our address for the business so I came down and watched flames shooting out all over and smoke," Days Gone By Antiques and Collectibles business partner.

Larson and his girlfriend opened the antiques and collectibles business just more than two months ago, back on March 1st. He said he's still in shock about the fire.

"A lot of our antique business is mostly smoke and water damage. The fire never got totally through the upstairs floor," he said.

Larson thinks the store is a total loss. He said they hope to re-open, maybe at another location, but now they just have to wait and see what happens.

"We had a lot of the community come up and give us hugs and say we're sorry and if we need anything give them a call they've all been real supportive," said Larson.

Several fire departments responded to the fire. Firefighter said strong winds made battling the blaze even more difficult.

Oelwein's fire chief says the Iowa State Fire Marshal was on the scene Saturday to investigate and will return Sunday.

Crews say the antique store had water and smoke damage,  while the Kirby of Oelwein business was a total loss.

Officials say six apartments were damaged, and some of the people who lived there had to be rescued.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner 

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