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From: "Jim Dent" james DOT dent AT itochu DOT com
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 01:43:41 -0400
Subject: Marshalltown, Iowa
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More on the fire from the Times-Republican Aug. 6th edition...

A fire late Sunday afternoon consumed much of the old Union Pacific
Marshalltown Railroad Station, and authorities are still trying to determ=
the cause of the blaze.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., the fire department was alerted to reports of
heavy smoke emanating from the building. By the time firefighters arrived=
the scene, the fire was blazing in full force, requiring them to request
back-up assistance.

Ten minutes after the call, all crews were called in and the fire departm=
was in =93defensive mode=94 regarding the flames.

April Meyer, who reported the fire to emergency dispatchers, described th=
first few minutes of the blaze.

=93There was light smoke at first,=94 she said. =93Then, almost immediate=
ly black,
black smoke. Then shortly after that, the flames were visible.=94

By 6:03 p.m. the train depot was =93fully engulfed and just about on the
ground,=94 and =93the roof was completely in,=94 according to reports.

The firefighters continued dousing water on the flames, while another tru=
engine was working on a building just north of the depot, spraying it dow=
to keep the flames from spreading. A light south wind made the nearby
structure a concern.

The contents of a dumpster beside that building did catch on fire.

By 6:25 p.m. Marshalltown Fire Chief C. Lyman Monroe advised the emergenc=
communications center that the fire had been contained and it had been
contained to the building of origin.

One firefighter was treated for complications from heat at the scene.

Shortly after 7 p.m., the Red Cross arrived on the scene to help distribu=
water and other materials to the firefighters.

Shortly after containment, a water flow problem in the hoses was reported=
Rocks had gotten into the hose lines that were hooked up the hydrants and
had to be removed.

Other firefighters were called in to replace those who had been on the sc=
first and needed a break. Those firefighters returned to the station. Mon=
said that the fire department would be on scene for a while in =93surroun=
d and
drown=94 mode to quell any hot spots.

The T-R had previously reported that the station, a historic building in
Marshalltown, was scheduled to be demolished this week. However, crews we=
not working at the station when the blaze occurred.

The Union Pacific Railroad acquired the station and the surrounding railr=
property in 1995, and until recently the company based several switching
crews, signal workers and local managers in the depot.

According to officials, Union Pacific made the decision to demolish the
depot because it was both too big for the company=92s needs and too
dilapidated to salvage and maintain.

=93Obviously it=92s old, and we think it=92s a safety hazard,=94 Bromley =
had told
the T-R in a July 31 story.

Workers had been in the process of removing asbestos from the building=92=
roof, after which full-scale demolition was to begin.

At press time, an investigation into the cause of the blaze had not yet b=


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