Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

CNHI/SE Iowa

April 10, 2013

Fire destroys popular restaurant

OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Fire Department spent two hours trying to put out the fire at a Mexican restaurant, but in the end spent many more hours saving the buildings around it.

The fire department was called out about midnight, said Mike Craff, an assistant fire chief. He said there were flames showing at El Rancho Grande when they arrived.

Deputy Chief Cory Benge, the fire investigator, said flames could be seen coming from the basement and from the top floor of the two-story building.

"They did offensive attack inside for approximately two hours," said Craff, "but it had too big a head start."

The brightly colored restaurant, located in a restored, brick-faced industrial building, had many "voids" and spaces where oxygen waited or where flames could hide. The department would get it knocked down on one side, Craff said, only for it to spring up even worse at another corner of the building.

But they worked hard, said a neighbor Tuesday morning. Brandon Holstrom, response coordinator for the local Red Cross office, said his agency was involved in this blaze in two ways: by giving drinking water to help firefighters working the incident all night and because their Red Cross building is next door to El Rancho Grande.

During the fight, Benge said, the OFD received a call — a house fire on Pennsylvania Avenue. They sent trucks and personnel, including Benge. A clothes drier started a fire in a home. They put it out quickly. The deputy chief stationed a couple of firefighters there to make sure it was out, and he went back to El Rancho. But the department had some help.

"We were fortunate that Wapello County Rural Fire Department responded," said Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller. "They did a great job."

Holstrom from the Red Cross also said firefighters did a great job, battling all night to keep flames away from the rest of the commercial block. Miller said the crews had been working on that even as they tried to knock down the fire inside the restaurant.

Text Only
CNHI/SE Iowa
  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Features
AP Video
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Jury Awards Ventura $1.8M in Defamation Case Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Senate Confirms McDonald As VA Secretary Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Two Huge Fires Burning in Northern California
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results