Clinic burned to the ground in Lake Park, IA - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

by Rebecca Sunshine

Clinic burned to the ground in Lake Park, IA


LAKE PARK, Iowa (KTIV) - Fire destroys three buildings and damages a fourth on a city block in downtown Lake Park, Iowa Sunday.

That town of just under one-thousand people is about 13 miles east of Spirit Lake, Iowa, and just south of the Minnesota border.

Twelve area fire departments were called to the fire on the 200 block of Market Street.

Two of the buildings destroyed were abandoned, the third, which officials believe is where the fire began, was this small town's only medical clinic.

The fire, which took nearly 5 hours to extinguish, put a strain on the town's water supply.

"We've had a 3 or 4 sources around the lake pulling water, we've pulled it from our municipal hydrants, but those became strapped really fast so we have sources out surrounding the lake pumping water out," said  Brandon Ehret, Lake Park Fire Chief.

The State Fire Marshal is expected to be in Lake Park Monday to help determine the cause of Sunday's blaze.

The twelve volunteer fire departments worked all day in the cold to fight this fire, luckily for them there was a café in town that knew there's nothing like a cup of joe to keep the crews going.

The call came in around 10 Sunday morning to all volunteer fire departments in the area. 

Right away, the folks at the Blue Moon Cafe started offering coffee to the crews, but it didn't take long for them to realize the fire fighters would need much more than just coffee.

"As we realized that it was going to continue going through lunch then we started figuring out that we needed to do something for lunch and to get food to all of them," said  Adrienne Hardin, Blue Moon Coffee Cafe and Bakery.

With the help of donations from other businesses and residents, they started giving food to the crews.

"Got over here about 11 o'clock before dinner and hadn't eaten since 6 o'clock. And when the adrenaline flowing and everything you don't think about it until you slow down a little bit, and I slowed down was chilled, hungry and everything else and they sent me down here and they fixed me a wonderful meatloaf sandwich," said Bill Neiderheiser, Spirit Lake Fire Department.

"We've been feeding all the firefighters the police that come through all the emergency management crew, everybody that comes through that's helping out we've been feeding.  We've probably given away 6 or 7 dozen sandwiches," said Hardin.

Word of all those sandwiches quickly spread among the volunteers.

"I was up on the roof of the post office spraying water and I seen the guys down below eating and its like 'yum that looks kind of good,'" said Neiderheiser.

Since many of them can't stop to take a break, Hardin says the food is also good for them.

"It keeps them going and it keeps them happy," said Hardin.

"'Most definitely, I feel much better. All warmed up and I feel like I got more energy," said Neiderheiser.

The energy he needed to finish cleaning up what the blaze left behind.

The owner of the cafe said she doesn't care about the cost of feeding the firefighters, as long as they all got what they needed to safely fight the blaze.

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