Kirk Apartments demolition continues in Mason City
MASON CITY, Iowa (KTTC) – It’s been one month since a fire broke out at a historic apartment building in downtown Mason City, destroying the building and displacing several dozen people.
Demolition started last week, and city leaders say it’s gone smoothly so far.
“It’s actually gone really well. There’s been a few false starts, but we’re really happy that we’ve been able to get the building in the state that it’s in now,” city administrator of Mason City Aaron Burnett said.
The city has blocked off the blocks surrounding the site to keep drivers and pedestrians safe.
“Right after the fire, we had it rekindle and few times, so for the safety of everyone involved, we just try to keep people as far back as possible,” Burnett said.
The apartment was built back in 1896, and some longtime residents say it’s been strange seeing it torn down.
“I was actually born in 1949 so the building’s been there my entire life. It’s a part of history and a part of my life,” Mason City resident Judy Bohn said.
As to what will be built in it’s place, that’s still up in the air.
“Obviously, this is the heart of our downtown, so it’s a very important place to get redeveloped. This city is very interested in that, the Chamber’s very interested in that redevelopment. We will work closely alongside the property owner to make sure that we’re able to see this great space be put back to use,” Burnett said.
Mason City United Way set up a donation drive for displaced residents. They raised $33,000 dollars and have used $18,000 of that to help residents pay for hotels and security deposits.
The donation drive is closed, and the left-over donations will be used to help other Mason City folks experiencing homelessness.
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