Firefighters respond to major fire in northeast Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Emergency crews battled a major fire at a building used by UnityPoint Health in northeast Cedar Rapids on Wednesday evening.
At 6:07 P.M., fire crews responded to 3851 River Ridge Road NE, near the intersection of Glass Road and Edgewood Road Northeast. The building is owned by TBD Investments, LLC and is being leased by UnityPoint Health.
Authorities say there were two employees inside the structure at the time of the fire, but they were able to safely escape. No injuries have been reported at this time.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found approximately half of the second floor of the two-story commercial structure engulfed in flames. The fire response was upgraded to a two-alarm fire and fire crews from Hiawatha were also dispatched to assist the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.
NewsLine9 callers reported smoke from the fire was visible for several miles across Cedar Rapids.
According to officials, the fire was extensive on the second floor and into the ceiling, so firefighters focused on extinguishing the fire from the exterior.
By 7:15 P.M. portions of the roof started to sag, according to officials.
Firefighters are expected to continue an exterior operation until the fire can be suppressed. Crews are expected to remain on the scene throughout the night as they continue with fire suppression efforts and eventually overhaul operations.
The public is asked to avoid the area around Glass Road and Edgewood Road NE so fire crews can continue to safely perform their duties.
Cedar Rapids Fire believes the building is a total loss. The building also served as city hall for a few years after the Flood of 2008.
According to UnityPoint Health, the majority of employees at the facility have been working remotely due to the pandemic, but officials say that no patient data or medical records have been affected.
Cedar Rapids Police officers, Area Ambulance Service, American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and Alliant Energy all assisted with the response.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.