UPDATE WITH VIDEO: Towels cause fire at Chrome Horse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE WITH VIDEO: Towels cause fire at Chrome Horse

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The Cedar Rapids Fire Department has determined that towels and rags containing animal fat caused the fire at the Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House in Cedar Rapids.

They say the towels spontaneously heated causing the fire.

The department's investigation determined that the fire started in plastic bucket under a table in the kitchen.

There were towels and rags in the bucket that had been used to wipe down surfaces which likely contained animal fat. 

Firefighters recommend storing towels that contain grease, such as animal fat, in a metal container with a lid.



A Cedar Rapids restaurant and live music venue is recovering from a four-alarm fire.

The Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House in the New Bohemia neighborhood caught fire around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

At one point, all on-duty firefighters were called to help. Crews remained on scene for about nine hours.

Firefighters believe the fire started in the kitchen, but it spread quickly and much of the building has damage.

"It's traumatic with the water damage obviously, and the high heat and the smoke damage is just astronomical," said Derek Collins, the restaurant's general manager. "It's sad."

The restaurant survived the 2008 flood and is still cleaning up from flash flooding a few weeks ago. Insurance adjusters are expected at the restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

"We'll get everything together and hopefully make things out here in the next couple of weeks and sort out what we can do with staff and what we can do," said Collins. "We're pretty optimistic in regards that there will be a Chrome Horse Saloon a year from now."

Nobody was in the restaurant at the time of the fire.

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