FIRE TIMELINE: Contractor & Building Owner Speak Out

There is a much better picture of what happened in the days and the hours leading up the fire at the Younkers Building.

Renovation of the Younkers Building was right on schedule, demolition was complete and new windows were going in.

All of that work was wiped out Saturday morning.

“It is a tragic loss for the community and it was heartbreaking for me to watch the events of Saturday morning,” says Vice President of The Hansen Company Tony Garcia.

The Hansen Company is the lead contractor of the renovation.

Garcia was the last person in the building before it caught fire.

“We walked through at 3:30 we walked again at 5:30 at which time all the workers were done for the day, the building was secured and all the doors were locked,” says Garcia.

And they were still locked at 8 p.m. Garcia’s final check of the building.

The building also had water access on every floor as required by the State Fire Marshall’s office.

Last week it was inspected by Iowa OSHA.

“They were just on site on Tuesday and walked the job from top to bottom and didn`t find any major violations at all,” says President of The Hansen Company Craig Faber.

Faber says it was the same for city inspectors.

They didn’t find any problems during a tour of the building during an earlier inspection.

The owner of the building, The Alexander Company, says the property was insured under a special builder’s policy.

“My understanding is our insurance covers our building, we will be doing the cleanup of the public right away around our building under our insurance policy,” says Development Project Manager David Voss.

However, Voss says damage to the skywalk system and nearby buildings will not be covered under their insurance policy.

Voss says the main focus right now is helping investigators.

“We`re crushed by this loss, this building was very important to me personally, it was very important to our company we spent quite a few years in seeing the redevelopment of this project,” says Voss.

Both The Alexander and Hansen Companies say they are cooperating with the investigation.

They have been asked to provide the names of everyone who was contracted and sub-contracted to work on the building to authorities.

2 comments

    • William Denison

      My buyers remorse post was in reference to a video i had posted that has been taken down. It was a video from youtube of Bill Knapp talking about buying politicians. And backing Branstad.

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