Investigators say they’ve ruled out arson as a possible cause of Tuesday’s fire that gutted a multi-purpose building and restaurant at the Viking Lake State Park near Red Oak in Montgomery County. Bob Schierbaum, the D-N-R’s state parks supervisor for southwest Iowa, says the State Fire Marshal’s office says it appears to have been accidental.
Schierbaum says “We have determined that there doesn’t seem to be any foul play. It seems like there was something that started in a chaseway. It probably had something to do with the extreme heat and maybe something to do with the heating-electrical-air conditioning system.” He says the half-million dollar building opened just four years ago and he expects it will be rebuilt.
Schierbaum says it had a full-service restaurant, they sold concessions, bait, fishing tackle and the boats were rented from the building too. It was among only two full-service restaurants in an Iowa state park.