Several businesses damaged, apartment a total loss after Epworth fire

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A second-story apartment building and several Epworth businesses were severely damaged after a fire on Friday.

Around 11 a.m., the Dubuque County 911 Center received multiple reports of a structure fire at Main Street and Center Avenue in Epworth. The building, which houses four businesses and a second floor apartment was found to have smoke throughout the attic area and flames and heat in the apartment.

The building owners, Dave and Karen Koss, were on site and are also the owners of The Pizza Factory. Epworth Satellite and TV was also open at the time of the fire.

An upstairs apartment suffered heavy heat and smoke damage and is considered a total loss. The couple who lived there had just left and returned to find the heavy smoke and flames atop of the stairwell in their apartment.

The couple’s two cats did not survive the fire.

The four businesses on the main floor had smoke damage and some minor water damage. Electricity was restored to the Pizza Factory so they could open for business.

The American Red Cross of the Tri-States is assisting the occupants of the apartment.

No damage estimate is available. The cause of the fire has
not been identified although it is believed to have started in the area of the upstairs bathroom.

The cause does not appear to be suspicious at this time.