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Company Officials Discuss Des Moines Younkers Building Fire

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Representatives for a company overseeing redevelopment of a historic downtown Des Moines building destroyed in a fire have made their first public statements.

The Des Moines Register reports officials from the Hansen Company held a press conference Monday. They insisted the work site at the Younkers building met necessary regulations.

Tony Garcia, company vice president, said construction crews were doing "hot work" Friday that could generate sparks. But he added that the work was carefully monitored and it was completed hours before the fire started early Saturday.

Officials say the former Younkers building will have to be demolished and that several nearby buildings sustained smoke and water damage. Investigators say there are no early indications as to what caused the blaze.