Fire operations continue at 919 6th Street SW this morning. Crews from the City of Cedar Rapids Streets Department are using heavy equipment to clear debris off of the roadway and isolate the fire debris onto the property of the former lumber yard.
An initial damage assessment indicates all buildings on the North side of the property involved in fire including the former office and lumber storage buildings were consumed by fire. Lumber storage buildings on the South side of the property sustained heat damage. At least five detached garages in the alley South of 9th Avenue SW sustained radiant heat damage or caught fire from exposure to the main body of fire.
There were reports of land-line telephone disruptions and electrical service interruptions in the area of the fire. It is unclear if these disruptions were caused by the fire or were the result of the thunderstorm that occurred concurrently with the building fire. There was also at least one severed gas line at the site that was blowing natural gas. The gas line was controlled by Mid-American. Several different utility companies have been on scene throughout the incident and are working to restore service.
Sixth Street SW is still closed to regular traffic to ensure the safety of firefighters and their equipment operating at the scene. Heavy debris has been removed from the street and firefighters have washed down the traffic portion of the street. 6th Street SW should be open by early afternoon.
Firefighters remain on scene and are conducting a foam operation. The foam increases the effectiveness of water used in final extinguishment of the burning debris.
No further information is available at this time.