Downtown business on path to recovery after Burlington fire

BURLINGTON, Iowa-- After a fire ravaged a historic Burlington building, neighboring businesses are trying to recover.

Doreen Roy, who owns the Gypsi on Jefferson, said she's dealing with water damage and a musty smell.

"It's a little disheveled," she said. "This is not normally what it looks like."

Inside the small boutique, racks of clothes are packed towards the front of the store. A half dozen green fans are whirring in the back.

We were actually locked out of the building for a few days," Roy explained. "They blocked it off so we were not able to get in here because of the danger of the building.”

Roy said she needs to replace the carpet, and she still has water in the basement from the fire hoses.

Outside, the Tama Building sits charred and falling apart.

"It’s a magnificent, majestic building. And it’s sad to see history destroyed," she said. "It's just hard to see things go backwards when you're moving forward."

The Tama Building was nearing the end of its renovation when it caught fire this past weekend.

The street is still blocked off around it, and Roy worries the loss of the Tama Building will have an enduring effect on the neighborhood.

"It's worrisome," she said. "Will we be able to sustain our business on this block?"
Roy said she hopes to be back open in about a week.