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‘Massive fire’ destroys building downtown Des Moines

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A “massive fire” took out an eight-story building downtown Des Moines and damaged surrounding buildings.

Our sister-station WHO reported that around 1 a.m. Saturday, March 29, 2014 a fire destroyed an old Younkers building in the downtown area.

The fire was initially called-in by a Des Moines Fire Department paramedic who saw flames while responding to another call.

WHO reported that Des Moines Fire Department spokesperson Brian O’Keefe said crews were trying to reach all the floors, but determined that it was unsafe to continue on. Firefighters were forced to back away and put the fire out from a “defensive position.”

The building started to collapse, dropping onto the street below as the blaze quickly spread. Surrounding buildings sustained heat damage from the blaze.
As firefighters worked to contain hot spots from the fire, police stopped traffic in the area to keep people away from the scene.

WHO said that the building was cleared and no injuries were reported.

Responding to the news, many who are from the area took to WHO's Facebook page saying that they are sad to see the building is gone and that it harbored many memories.