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Fire closes West Liberty Gun Club

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Fire destroyed almost everything inside the West Liberty Gun Club Monday, January 21, 2013.

Firefighters from several departments battled flames in frigid, single-digit temperatures as they fought the blaze at the club, at 901 West Prairie Street in West Liberty, Iowa.   

Atalissa and West Branch fire departments assisted in the firefight.

Club president Dave Kelzenberg said there was a wood-burning stove inside the building, and he speculated that embers from that stove could have contributed to the fire.

Fire investigators had not yet determined the cause of the fire.

“I feel that we've been doing good things here for the community in terms of supporting safe, recreational shooting.  It's discouraging to know that this is going to have a negative impact on what we do,” said club president Dave Kelzenberg. 

The structure and exterior reportedly sustained minimal damage, but firefighters said almost everything inside the building was destroyed.

A statement on the West Liberty Gun Club website said they are closed to the public and to members because of the fire. 

“We know that the club is important to all shooters and hope to allow outdoor range use as soon as possible,” the statement said.