Waterloo Fire: Building needs to come down - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo Fire: Building needs to come down

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Waterloo firefighters responded to a familiar spot this morning for a fire. The fire happened at an abandoned apartment building in the 900 block of Commercial Street around 4 a.m this morning.

Back in November there was another fire at the same building. Chad Bruce was arrested for trespassing after crews rescued him from the building after it caught fire.

Waterloo firefighters say the vacant building is not safe.The floors have collapsed and the inside is falling apart. Even though the building is abandoned, firefighters say people have been staying inside.

"That's exactly what people use it for, a place to stay warm, and accidentally caught it on fire in one way or another so it's not safe for us, it's not safe for anybody," said Mike Moore, Waterloo Fire Battalion Chief. "Hopefully it will come down soon and we won't be back again."

Chief Moore says it's time for the building to come down.

"It needs to come down soon," said Chief Moore. "It's not safe for us and it's certainty not safe for anyone looking for a dry place to sleep at night either."

George Vaughn says he lived in the building 15 years ago and he agrees with Chief Moore saying it needs to go.

"It's kind of heart breaking," said Vaughn, Waterloo. "It's kind of a blow to my ego...it has my past with some memories, it's hard to accept. Now it just seems like a used to be...it's never gonna be that way again."

This was not the first time fire crews were been called to the building, less than a year ago they were called for a fire and ended up rescuing a man who lit a fire in one of the apartments to stay warm. Chief Moore says it's a similar story to be told today.

"Unfortunately the building is often occupied by squatters, people that are looking for a place to stay and the first time it was started by one of those folks accidentally and this time I can't say for sure how it started, but I am assuming someone was inside there," said Chief Moore.

While Chief Moore says the fire could have been started by a person staying inside the building he doesn't not know for sure how it started. When crews searched the building they did not find anyone inside.

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