Fire, not flood, damages Davenport’s Credit Island Lodge

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A Davenport landmark goes up in flames. Now, investigators want to know why.

Fire at the historic Credit Island Lodge was spotted just before 8 this morning.

The lodge is a symbol of past and present flooding along the Mississippi River. Ironically, it took a fire to possibly bring it down.

As flames and smoke spreadĀ  from the historic Credit Island Lodge on Thursday morning, the scene becomes visible for miles across the Quad Cities skyline.

"It's going to be a long, arduous process to determine where this fire started and why," said Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn.

Nobody was hurt or in the building at the time, but firefighters were foiled by temporary flood protection. Barriers to keep out high water created extra obstacles at the scene.

"It did not stop our people," Chief Washburn said. "We simply had to work harder to get there."

But collapsing ceilings were enough to force firefighters from the building. That's when it became a defensive attack.

With just one distant hydrant, it was tough to access water. Firefighters also pumped flood water from high above.

"There was initially a concern because of the debris that's in the river right now," she said. "And it does clog up our pumps."

The Credit Island Lodge is a survivor. Renovated after 2008 flooding, it hosts everything from community events to wedding receptions.

"It is frustrating," said Davenport First Ward Alderman Nate Brown.

Brown has led the revival on Credit Island in recent years.

"We'll get it figured out exactly what the fire did as far as the damage goes," he said. "Like any good west-ender, we'll stand up, dust off and keep moving."

While too early to tell if the building will survive, Alderman Brown hopes that the city can salvage it.