Fire Damages Historic Building at Echo Valley State Park
By Sam Lane, Reporter
FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa -- Officials suspect arson was the cause of a fire at Fayette County Echo Valley Park near West Union, Iowa, Thursday morning.
According to a Fayette County Sheriff's Office news release, officials were notified around 9:45 a.m. of fire damage to a building and a parking barrier at the park. The barrier and building sustained around $500 in damage.
The building was constructed in the 1930s by President Roosevelt's "New Deal" Civilian Conservation Corps. According to the Fayette County Conservation Board, the shelter house -- like the park's dam, keystone archway, and lime kiln -- was hand built.
Rod Marlatt, the board's executive director, said wood in the interior stalls of the stone-laid building was charred, but didn't sustain significant damage.
"It's too bad some people don't have better things to do," Marlatt said. "It's a typical northern Iowa park . . . They didn't manage to get it going. That would have been a real travesty."
Marlatt said a ranger was through the park sometime in the evening on Wednesday, and the burn must have happened sometime after that.
Authorities are seeking information on the incident and anyone with knowledge of the cause of the fire are advised to call the Sheriff's office at (563) 422-6067. Fayette County was put under a fire ban at 10 a.m. Thursday, the release said.
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