Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids business was damaged in a fire on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 11:50 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a fire at Van’t Hul Repair at 102 Forster Court, on Rock Rapids’ far eastern side, along Highway 9.
The chief says the fire department saw black smoke coming from the building as they approached the scene. He tells us they belive something malfunctioned on a semi-tractor that was in the shop. According to Reck, it destroyed the semi-tractor and burned a hole through the roof of the shop. Reck says some firefighters donned air packs and knocked the fire down. The power was off, so they found a different way to open the garage door and drug the burning semi-tractor out with a payloader, where it wouldn’t cause any further damage and firefighters could get at it better. He tells us they also worked to pull the ceiling of the shop down because there was fire in rafters and insulation above the shop.
No injuries were reported, says Reck.
He tells us that the Rock Rapids firefighters were assisted by the George Fire Department. According to Reck, the George Fire Department is automatically paged to structure fires in Rock Rapids, along with the Rock Rapids Fire Department.
Chief Reck reports that there was extensive damage. He says the building may be salvageable, but the interior will have to be re-done and they’ll have to replace one of the rafters in the ceiling. He tells us there was also moderate damage to other vehicles parked in the shop.
He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene until about 2:30 a.m. and were called again in the 7:00 a.m. hour on Thursday morning to extinguish a hot spot.