The initial call was made at 10:55 p.m. Saturday. Burlington Firefighters arrived within four minutes of that call and began rescue efforts to save a woman who was trapped on the third floor of the building.
She was uninjured and able to climb down a ladder under her own power. Witnesses say she was pulled from the building wearing only undergarments, it’s unclear why she was in the unoccupied building or if she was working with the crew on renovations. Her identity has not been released at this time.
The fire department says the building is a total loss, and unstable due to the partial collapse. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
The structure is owned by Historic Tama, LLC and was undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation at the time of the fire. It was only weeks away from tenants moving into some of the 48 apartments in the upper stories of the building. Several businesses were also set to move into commercial space on the first floor including Olive Wine, Big River Popcorn, and other retail shops.
(By David Hightower, KBUR, Burlington)