Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
The damaged wing of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque is now reopened. The Woodward Mississippi River Center building was closed after a fire last Saturday.The Woodward Mississippi River Center building houses the Turtles: Secrets of the Shell exhibit. The fire was started by a heating pad that apparently ignited a small fire.
No humans or animals were hurt. Although the fire damage to the building was minimal, damage from smoke and water from the fire-suppression sprinkler system was extensive.
Crews have been working all week in cleaning the building, but officials with the museum say there is still a little work to be done in January and February.
Jerry Enzler is the president and CEO of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.
"The building is totally dry, minus the aquariums of course," Enzler said Saturday morning. "The smoke is all out, the smoke damage is gone and all of the wet materials have been removed. So we are in a very good position and now it can take its normal course of replacement and repair."
Enzler said although all portions of the museum and aquarium are open to the public, there are long-term things that will need to be replaced in the next couple of months.
"We need to replace flooring," he said. "The wooden flooring had been damage. That flooring is sustainable harvested wood from South America."
He said portions of the ceiling will also need to be replaced in the coming months.
"There is a 92 foot concourse of a very decorative slat ceiling material that will all have to be replaced," Enzler said.
Although insurance money will help fix the fire damaged parts of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, it is accepting donations for any additional costs.
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