Investigators Unable To Determine Cause Of Massive Des Moines Fire

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

The investigation into the March 29th Des Moines fire that destroyed a historic downtown building has wrapped up without determining the cause. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Sunday there is no indication the blaze was intentionally set.

Firefighters arrived to find flames on the upper floors of the seven-floor structure built in 1899 that once housed a Younkers department store. About an hour later, the top floors collapsed. It was being renovated into apartments and retail space at the time.

Assistant City Manager Matt Anderson said the115-year-old building, vacant since 2005, will have to be demolished, but the site can still be redeveloped. It was part of a $36 million downtown revitalization project.

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