"Woodbine, IA Fire" - Kristen Johnson - IAFF Media Awards - Best - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

"Woodbine, IA Fire" - Kristen Johnson - IAFF Media Awards - Best TV News Story


Name of Entry:

"Woodbine, IA Fire"

Explanation of Entry:

A fire breaks out in Woodbine, Iowa destroying one business and damaging six other.


We spoke with business owners about their future and how the community is coming together in the aftermath.

Success Metrics:

We were able to talk with business owners to learn how this fire impacts them.  We were able to show how a small community comes together after such a tragedy.

Name of Award Nominee:

Kristen Johnson



Date Produced:


Script for the story:

Crews were called back out to the scene of a fire that damaged an entire block of businesses in downtown Woodbine, Iowa.

The call came just before 4 a.m., more than 12 hours after the fire first broke out at the Flower Shoppe on Main Street. The business has been gutted and is so unstable investigators have been unable to go inside.

The state fire marshal hopes to be back on the scene Monday, and release the cause early next week.

A total of six businesses were damaged, including the Corn Palace Bar, Woodbine Seniors Center, and Eby Pharmacy.

Despite the damage, those business owners were able to salvage some of what was inside their buildings. KTIV's Kristen Johnson shows us how the community leaned on each other to get through that difficult day.

As crews rushed to the scene Thursday, Debra Kaufman ran outside of the antique store she owns on Main Street to see.

Debra Kaufman, Woodbine Antiques said, "Flames coming through the brick."

No sooner did dozens of helping hands show up at her door.

Patty Reisz, Woodbine, IA Resident said, "It was just almost overwhelming amount of support. We had 100's of people that were just going in and grabbing whatever they could, and bringing it out here."

All of Kaufman's antiques were pulled out in time and stored across the street inside Natural Creations.

Bill Steppuhn, Natural Creations said, "Everybody pitches in and just jumps right in and helps out."

Down the block, the rush was on to save all of the medical supplies from the town's only pharmacy. Marilyn Boustead opened up her real estate office on the next block.

Marilyn Boustead, Boustead Real Estate Services said, "They can replace windows, several thousand dollars. They can replace floor covering and paint. The loss of the fellowship and the revenue on a day to day basis is priceless."

This isn't the first time the community of Woodbine has suffered such a loss. In 1997, the block across the street was also wiped out by fire.

Marilyn Boustead, Boustead Real Estate Services said, "Having been through it before, I just knew. We had more time, this time"

Debra had an army of volunteers loading up her antiques, Friday, as she waited for the go-ahead from fire officials, to return to her store.

Kaufman said, "I felt such a sense of community that I've never felt before."

Other businesses, like the Corn Palace bar may not be so lucky. They have a longer road to reopening. But, every business on this block knows they have their town behind them.

Kaufman is planning to sell many of the items she saved from the fire at the Western Iowa Apple Fest flee market in Woodbine, tomorrow.

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