Fire destroys Ottumwa building housing restaurant

Published On: Apr 11 2013 04:41:33 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 11 2013 04:41:00 AM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) -

Fire has destroyed a popular Mexican restaurant in a restored two-story brick building in Ottumwa.

The fire was reported late Monday and firefighters struggled with the blaze for hours.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Craff told the Ottumwa Courier that fighting the fire was complicated by many spaces within the building where oxygen and flames could hide.

After trying to extinguish the fire for about two hours, Craff says firefighters focused more on ensuring the blaze didn't spread to adjacent buildings.

Deputy Chief Cory Benge says the building containing the restaurant was destroyed, and there's now a danger that the structure could collapse.

Local fire officials and the State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the blaze.