Fire destroys several buildings in Cassville - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire destroys several buildings in Cassville

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Fire crews worked for more than nine hours at the scene of a fire in downtown Cassville. They were called to the area just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

Grant County authorities say four buildings are a total loss and two others are damaged. The buildings include a cafe and apartments. Officials say no one was injured in the fire, but 12 people lost their homes. One victim of the fire who says it not only hurts the people here, but the town.

"I was woke up out of a dead sleep by the sirens going off," Cassville resident George Cairns said. "The flashing lights, the sirens stopped right in front of my apartment."

Just after three o'clock Tuesday morning, Cairns heard a knock at his door.

"Telling me to get out, so that's what I did. He was beating on all the apartment doors," Cairns said.

Cairns decided to help fire crews, knowing his next door neighbor was still in her apartment.

"My neighbor finally came to the door, she is hard of hearing and we got out finally," Cairns said.

Helpless, all they could do was watch their homes go up in flames. It was tough for firefighters too. Crews battled the blaze for nearly 12 hours.

"Two of the Cassville public work employees were out checking the pumps," Grant County Emergency Management Director Julie Loffelholz said.

She said the fire is a one-two punch for the town that's already been dealt a tough hand.

"We're dealing with the Mississippi river flooding and they were out checking to see if the pumps we working properly to keep the river out of the village," Loffelholz said.

Loffleholz says two people will likely return home. But most lost everything.

"It didn't get the brunt of the damage but it was on fire. And of course it's got all the water and smoke and everything so there's not saving anything in there," Cairns said.

But they aren't alone, the town lost one of it's favorite water coolers.

"We have this little group that meets there every morning for coffee and conversation and we meet there every morning," Cairns said.

Rivers Cafe sits below the apartments. It too had extensive damage.

"And it's just gonna be sad because we meet there every morning," Cairns said.

Fire fighters are being treated for hypothermia and fatigue. Crews from five communities helped battle the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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