What looked like a fast-moving fog forced scores of late-night establishment patrons out of the buildings and into the streets on July 20. The fog turned out to be smoke that clouded up Dyersville’s main street into the early morning.
Two apartments above K&K Logo, at 143 1st Ave. East, caught fire at approximately 11:46 p.m., Friday, July 20. Minutes later, responders from five local emergency groups swarmed the scene in the heart of downtown in a firefight that would last nearly five hours.
Paged as a “grease fire,” the Dyersville Fire Department determined that the likely cause was due to unattended cooking materials in one of the apartments. Neither residence was occupied at the time of the emergency, though a resident and Dyersville Police officer were hospitalized from smoke inhalation. Both were released.
Fire, smoke and water damage carried over into adjacent buildings. K&K Logo owners Steve Tauke and Karen White returned to their business Saturday morning to find charred and dirty ceiling tiles and most of their apparel unsellable from smoke damage.
Almost half a day after the blaze, Tauke needed to hold a bucket up to the ceiling to catch brown liquid as it poured from above. White and Tauke also own the apartments, estimated at 50 percent loss.
“Now our products are not going to be sellable for us,” White said.
The official damage assessments are still under investigation by insurance adjusters, but Dyersville Fire Chief Al Wessels called estimates “extensive.” He was less than a week removed from reporting $200 year-to-date damages, a 99 percent decrease from July 2011.
“We’re in a wait-and-see pattern with adjusters,” White added.
Crews from New Vienna and Farley fire departments, Bi-County Ambulance and the Dyersville Police Department assisted in the emergency.