Fire has destroyed a popular gathering place in southwest Iowa. Firefighters from a half dozen departments responded to the fire at the “Timeline Restaurant” in Essex just after 10:30. Essex Fire Chief Roger Looker says it was a tough fire to fight because the building had been remolded several times and was too unstable for firefighters to be inside.Forty-five children in a nearby daycare center had to be evacuated. Looker says the center suffered some minor damage.He says another problem was a lack of water, forcing them to institute a water tanker convoy.Looker says they had to truck in water from as far away as Pottawattamie County. The restaurant is a total loss. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.