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Monona Fire, 1954


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 4/8/2014 at 19:20:48

The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, 20 April 1954.

Monona Fire Routs Five; $50,000 Loss.

Monona -- Fire routed five from their apartments and destroyed part of a two-story brick business building here Monday evening. Loss was estimated at $50,000.

Carl Etteldorf, owner of the Clover farm store and the building, lost both his store and household possessions in the blaze.

The fire, of undetermined origin, broke out about 7:30 p.m. Firemen from Luana, Postville and Monona brought the flames under control about midnight. A watch was kept, however, until about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

One half of the structure was destroyed. That half housed the store on the first floor and two apartments on the second.

The other half of the building housed a tavern and café on the first floor and law and dental offices and one apartment on the second, was badly damaged.

Mr. and Mrs. Etteldorf, Miss Edna Meyers and Mr. and Mrs. Will Allert, who occupied the other apartments, escaped the flaming building by the rear stairs.

Miss Meyers' apartment was damaged, the other two were destroyed.

The law and dental offices were unoccupied at the time of the fire. George Heins maintained the law office and Dr. William Humphrey had the dental office.

The café and tavern, which were divided by a wall, are owned by Al Kadlez.

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Transcriber's notes:
I remember viewing the whole fire as an almost 5 year old boy watching from our second floor living quarters above my parents business. The fire was a block away and across the street so I had a fine view. It was probably the biggest event in my life up to that point. Fortunately no one got killed or injured but the fire left a pretty large hole in Monona's main street. I remember the grocery had large windows and fresh fruit and vegetables were displayed in them, there were large bunches of bananas hanging from the ceiling. All the burned food made a stinky mess for quite a while.

I never knew the entire building was owned by Carl Etteldorf. He later ran a shoe store out of part of the building.


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