State Fire Marshal’s investigators are in northwest Iowa to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed three downtown buildings in Lake Park. Twelve fire departments were called to the scene Sunday morning. Lake Park Fire Chief Brandon Ehret believes the fire started in the back of the Hemphill Family Care Clinic.
He says firefighters had to back out of the clinic when there was a small explosion and then focused on trying to protect other buildings. No one was injured. "But unfortunately, we lost two buildings that were used for storage," Ehret said. "There’s pretty major water damage in the post office, but we were able to keep that from going."
Denise Hemphill lost everything from her clinic, which she’s run for nearly three decades in the Dickinson County town. Hemphill is hoping to get back in business. She says a local chiropractor has already offered space in his building. "I don’t know, I don’t have any medical equipment right now," Hemphill said as she looked at the charred remains of her clinic. "Twenty-nine-and-a-half years of nursing in there…it’s hard to look at."