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Dumpster fire at same construction site as million-dollar March fire

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – A dumpster fire at a construction site in Iowa City this week is recalling images of a destructive fire earlier this year.

“Workers seemed to be worried, running around yelling, ‘Call 911.’ The smoke was thick across the road,” witness Melissa Bates said.

The Iowa City Fire Department sent five units to the site, managed by Hodge Construction, Tuesday around noon and was able to extinguish the flames before they reached the building.

In March, a warming tent on the site caught fire and spread to the upper floors of the building. Initial reports of that fire had the damage estimated at $1,000,000 and delayed the project about a month.

Hodge says this week’s fire will not set them back any further and it is still targeting a December completion for the housing project.

Fire officials don’t believe the multiple fires are a sign of code infractions, rather just a reminder of how flammable construction sites are.

“It has exposed wood members and no fire protection systems in place,” ICFD Captain Bob Henry said. “No alarm systems so the warnings don’t come as early.”

 

Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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