Downtown Iowa City fire shuts down Burlington Street block

On March 6, the Hieronymous Square construction project will be dismantled, shutting down a block of Burlington Street, after the March 5 fire.


Ryan Adams

Firefighters respond to a structure fire at Burlington and Clinton on Tuesday, March 5.

Marissa Payne, Managing Editor

After a fire broke out on March 5 at the Hieronymus Square construction site, authorities have said they will take down the damaged structure today.

Seventeen fire personnel from Iowa City and area departments responded to a structure fire that broke out around 3 p.m. near Clinton and Burlington Streets across from the Voxman Music Building. The fire was controlled around 4 p.m.

The approximately $40 million Hieronymus Square complex was anticipated to be completed later this year. The delays the fire may cause to the project are uncertain at this time.

Burlington Street will be closed between Clinton and Dubuque Streets overnight and all day March 6 because of the fire, according to an email from the city of Iowa City. Bus routes will be detoured to East Prentiss and Market Streets, and several downtown bus stops will be missed.

Ryan Adams/The Daily Iowan
Firefighters respond to a structure fire at Burlington and Clinton on Tuesday, March 5.

The Court Street Transportation Center is currently closed to incoming vehicles, but the Dubuque Street parking ramp has remained open, with exiting cars detoured east on Burlington. The Transportation Center will be open today.

With the 100 block of East Burlington Street closed on March 6, traffic will be diverted to Clinton, Dubuque, and Court Streets.

Battalion Chief Brian Rohr said dispatch received the call at 2:48 p.m. He said wind and open structure helped the fire spread.

Fire Marshal Brian Greer said authorities are working with employees to find a cause of the fire but had not found one yet. At that time, he said, they might not be able to look around in the building because of its structural integrity or lack thereof.

No injuries were reported, Greer said. At one point, a man was stuck inside a yellow crane at the location, Greer said, but he was helped down without incident.

A fire previously broke out at the site on the morning of Jan. 21. No one was injured during that incident, which was caused by a propane radiator that got knocked over, said a construction worker on site that day.

An employee of Hodge Construction, the company in charge of construction at the Hieronymus Square site, said no one was available for comment at this time.

Andy Mitchell, Kate Pixley, and Caleb McCullough contributed reporting.