Neighbors react to downtown fire in Lawler - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Neighbors react to downtown fire in Lawler

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LAWLER (KWWL) -

Three buildings in downtown Lawler went up in flames Wednesday night. Fire crews were called to the structure fire on Main Street shortly after 9:00. When they arrived they found the three buildings engulfed in flames.

"The city maintenance shed caught fire after a local plumbing department storage… And there's another building that was under construction with no electricity to it from what I've been told. We're not sure where it started at this moment but we will find out," said Paul Rosenbaum of the Lawler Fire Department.

In the daylight, the destruction is clear. The three buildings are a total loss.

While it was still burning, neighbors like Verna Orvis decided to survey the damage.

"It was just a huge inferno so we walked down a couple of blocks to a safe spot and they were calling in all the other fire departments. I think I heard seven departments," said Orvis.

Fuel tanks in the city's maintenance building caused some problems for fire fighters, but over all many people say this small town was luckily, that fire didn't go any further.

"Of course the spread of fire to any other property on Main Street was a huge concern. We've got the fire station right there, of course, and your bank, and everything. You never want to see anybody's property go up but fortunately it was nothing residential when people's lives are in danger," said Orvis.

The fire took out several power poles along Main Street, cutting power for a number of people in Lawler. Crews replaced the poles on Thursday and had electricity back around 2:00 Thursday morning.

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