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From: "Jim Dent" james DOT dent AT itochu DOT com
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 01:46:46 -0400
Subject: Marshalltown, Iowa
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And from the Aug. 7th edition of the Times-Republican...

No one thought it would end this way.

What was left of the old Union Pacific train depot went down in flames
Sunday afternoon, and on Monday the Marshalltown fire chief was calling t=
incident =93suspicious=94 as investigations continued.

The depot had been slated for demolition anyway, but it went a little
prematurely as the fire made quick work of the structure and, to prevent =
injury to people due to collapse, many parts still standing were later
pushed in.

Marshalltown Fire Chief C. Lyman Monroe said it may not be possible to ev=
determine the cause of the fire, but did say an intentionally lit fire wa=
not out of the question. An exposed wood roof with slats helped the fire
grow quickly.

=93I would definitely say it=92s suspicious,=94 he said. =93We definitely=
have all
the elements that would make a good fire. It=92s a wide open building. It=
empty. It was in the process of being torn down.=94

Monroe reported that three firefighters suffered minor injuries while
fighting the blaze. Two suffered sickness caused by the heat and a third =
a fingernail torn off while handling one of the hoses.

A foundation and a pile of burnt debris are all that remain of the old Un=
Pacific train depot Monday afternoon in Marshalltown.

The difficulty in determining an exact cause has to deal with the
extensiveness of the fire and the fact some of the building had to be pus=
in on itself. He did say Fire Marshal Ron Snyder would be investigating t=
scene later this week, but chances are remote of finding anything concret=

=93It=92s going to be very difficult to find any kind of tangible evidenc=
e,=94 he

The building just to the north of the fire sustained some damage to the
roof. Hot embers that drifted over from the fire were hosed down once
landing on the roof, according to Monroe. The owner of the building was u=
on the roof directing the firefighters where to direct the water. He said
the light winds from the south helped keep the fire in check. Otherwise, =
the conditions been slightly different, the potential existed for a major
fire spreading to nearby structures.


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