Epworth Fire responds to Downtown Structure Fire
By Chief Thomas Berger
September 20, 2019

On Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 11:19 a.m. the Dubuque County 911 Center received multiple reports of a structure fire at Main Street and Center Avenue in Epworth. The building which houses four businesses and a second floor apartment was found to have smoke throughout the attic area and flames and heat in the apartment. The building owners, Dave and Karen Koss were on site and are also the owners of The Pizza Factory. Epworth Satellite and TV was also open at the time of the fire. Mutual aid assistance was provided by the Farley Fire Department for the county breathing air trailer. 22 firefighters responded and remained on the scene for over five hours. The upstairs apartment suffered heavy heat and smoke damage and is considered a total loss. The couple who lived there had just left and returned to find the heavy smoke and flames atop of the stairwell in their apartment. The couple has two cats and they did not survive the fire. The American Red Cross of the Tri-States is assisting the occupants of the apartment. The four businesses on the main floor had smoke damage and some minor water damage. Electricity was restored to the Pizza Factory so they could open for business. The Epworth Fire Department was also assisted at the scene by the Farley Fire Department, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy and Silker’s Store employees. No damage estimate is available. The cause of the fire has not been identified although it is believed to have started in the area of the upstairs bathroom. The cause does not appear to be suspicious at this time.

Units: Engines 701 and 703, Command 774 and 777, Ambulance 752
Mutual Aid: Farley Fire - County Air Trailer, Dubuque County Sheriffs Office, Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, and Silkers Store.