Firefighters Battle Credit Island Lodge Blaze - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Firefighters Battle Credit Island Lodge Blaze

Updated: May 2, 2013 11:01 PM CDT

First responders saw flames shooting through the roof of the Credit Island Lodge. Heavy smoke was visible for miles just before 8 Thursday morning. Firefighters worked for hours in floodwater and around barriers to knock down the flames. And they are working around the clock to maintain the scene.

Right now, the building's bone are reaching toward the sky. Crews fought long and hard to save as much as they could, while residents could do nothing but watch and wait, and hope. Mary Cormier says, "Tears and overwhelmed, it's very heartbreaking." The Vice President and Secretary of the Friends of Credit Island says, "People who have lived here all their life, there's a lot of memories involved."

She is just one of the people who had to come to Credit Island this day, to watch as firefighters battled to save the Lodge. Former Friends President Hank Reimers says, "It's sad, because that building was beautiful inside. It had all kinds of potential."

Potential that was just being realized. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba says, "Credit Island back in the 1910s, 1920s was kind of the Coney Island of the Quad Cities." Workers had renovated the historic lodge and were still making improvements. And the entire city fought hard to protect those during the last flood. We built this berm around it last year to protect it," Gluba says. "And then all we had to do was put sandbags across the entrance, Hesco bags, pretty much protected the building."

But the barriers played a very different role this day, keeping water in instead of out, blocking firefighters trying to get to the structure. Chief Lynn Washburn says, "Initially our personnel were trying to scurry over the top of it, which is a very arduous process. It really wears personnel out. They had to climb over the top of it, then pull hose lines over the top."

Battling the fire, along with miserable and dangerous conditions. "We did get crews inside to fight this," the Chief tells us. "Very early on we did get reports of the ceiling collapsing on that 2nd floor, so we did pull our crews out."

They attacked from the outside, finally able to knock down flames, leaving part of the building intact. That raised hopes that the Lodge could one day make another comeback. Cormier says, "Hopefully the brick building is sound and we'll be able to rebuild. If not, we're still hoping to rebuild."

Investigators were already inside Thursday, and the Fire Marshal says they will be back at it Friday. They must clear water and debris to determine what caused this fire.

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