Investigators have determined the cause of a fire that started early Tuesday afternoon on the town square in Centerville.
“That fire’s been ruled accidental,” Centerville Fire Chief Mike Bogle told Radio Iowa this morning. “…There was a contractor working on the roof, doing some type of metal work and some of the equipment he was using caused some sparks, and that’s what initiated that fire.”
The workers on the roof were away on their lunch hour when someone nearby saw smoke and called 911. Bogle says fire fighters were able to contain the blaze, so the only total loss was the building where the fire started — a building that housed a consignment clothing store.
“There’s really very limited damage to the surrounding buildings and that whole city block is all interconnected buildings,” Bogle says. “The only major damage was to the fire building itself, to the consignment shop.”
Fire departments from nine surrounding communities were called to the town square in Centerville to help fight the blaze. Bogle and his crews stayed on the scene ’til about 9:30 last night to make sure the fire was completely doused.
It was the second major fire in Centerville this week. Early Monday morning two buildings on the Appanoose County Fairgrounds burned to the ground.
“We can’t really rule it arson, but it is suspicious,” Bogle says. “…Local CrimeStoppers has offered a reward for any information about the cause of the fire.”
The horse barn and an arena where exhibitors showed their animals at the fair were destroyed.