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MOVING FORWARD: ATF Wrapping Up, City Cleaning Up

Foot traffic is still stop and go downtown; curiosity still getting the best of those who want stop and stare but things must move on.

“We`re wrapping up that phase of the investigation up so we can get out of the way,” say the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives spokesman, John Ham.

Fire investigators have begun packing up their equipment and have taken most of their investigators off the street.

“We are done with the scene, what we need the scene for and were done with the documentation of the scene.”

Before the weekend ends, all but a dozen or so fire agents will stay in Des Moines, working on what caused the fire. When ATF leaves town, many think the city will be left to clean up the pieces of debris. However in this case, the city is only responsible for cleaning up the skywalks.

“We own the skywalks whereas the developer, Alexander Group owns the property where the Yonkers is,” says City Manager, Rick Clark.

Clark says the city can only issue permits in order for the developers to up their property.

“It falls to them basically to deal with the demolition issues and clearance of the site and the future of the property.”

Once investigators officially hand over the building to the city, a handful of city agencies will work together to keep things moving forward.

“We`re as anxious as anybody. We want to get things back to normal but it takes time to do it properly.”

The city says it does not know how long it will take before clean-up is completed. Investigators also couldn’t say when they’ll announce what started the fire.

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