Fire causes more than $100,000 in damage to Camp Albrecht Acres - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire causes more than $100,000 in damage to Camp Albrecht Acres

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) - Crews were called to the a fire at Camp Albrecht Acres, a special needs camp near Dubuque, Wednesday morning around 8 a.m.

The fire started in the basement of the Kehl Center, the camp's largest building. Officials are still unsure of what caused the fire.

Many of the supplies for the camp's upcoming season were stored in the basement.

Eric Veltstra, executive director of the camp, said everything in the basement is a total loss.

All of the canned goods and nearly two-thirds of the meat for this summer were lost in the fire. All of the items for an upcoming fund-raising garage sale were also lost in the fire.

But despite the large amount of damage, Veltstra pledged the fire won't affect the camp season, which is set to start June 14.

"We're not going to let it," he said. "We can't do it to our campers. They look forward to that week of camp all year, so we need to have it ready. We're going to do whatever it takes, bring in enough manpower to get it done."

The basement also doubles as the camp's primary storm shelter, so clean-up will have to be done before campers arrive.

And while the rest of the building didn't sustain any damage from the fire, there is soot on all three floors and the smell of smoke is everywhere.

The camp operates as a non-profit, depending on donations for about 60 percent of their budget.

"We don't turn away any campers that can't pay so we'd like to use those operating funds to help campers pay for camp then go out and buy supplies twice," Veltstra said.

The fire is still under investigation.

Related link: http://albrechtacres.org/
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