Ongoing investigation includes some excavation work ...

According to State and local authorities, the investigation continues into the cause of the Sunday, February 13 fire that destroyed a pair of buildings on the initial block of Allamakee Street in downtown Waukon and impacted adjacent buildings with smoke, water and other damage. The arrival of an excavator (pictured below) at the fire site during the first full week of April had many speculating that demolition and clean-up work were set to begin at the site. However, the machine was only on site for several days and was not utilized for clean-up purposes but was instead used only to allow for safer and more convenient access to the investigation site, as evident with the knocking down of the front wall and canopy area of the former Tin, Rust & Harmony building believed to be the point of origin of the blaze and which is now noticeably more open in the photo above.

State of Iowa Fire Marshal Special Agent in Charge Ron Humphrey said the excavation work done last week was all part of the investigation process, both on the part of the State Fire Marshal’s office and the insurance interests involved. “Work like this is not uncommon with these older buildings and their brick walls as a safety measure to avoid any type of further collapse of walls while the investigation work takes place,” Humphrey explained. “The investigation is still in progress, and it’s hard to tell in cases like this just how long an investigation like this will take.”

The Standard will continue to provide updates as further information becomes available.