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UPDATED: Fire at Kensett bar causes extensive damage

This news story was published on January 8, 2014.
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Downtown Kensett, Iowa

Downtown Kensett, Iowa

KENSETT – A fire at a Kensett business Tuesday evening caused extensive damage.

An NIT reader reported that the Lion’s Den bar, located at 205 5th Street, was “engulfed in flames” at about 9:30 PM.

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that there was a fire at the location, and that Kensett and Northwood firefighters along with the Worth County Sheriff’s Office had responded to the scene.

Wednesday morning, owner Debbie Varner spoke with NIT about the damage to her building.  She was in pretty good spirits considering the loss she incurred the night before.

“I’m doing alright,” she said with an uneasy chuckle, answering a telephone call to the Lion’s Den.

Describing how the fire got out of hand, Debbie said that the pipes in her building were frozen and that as the fire began, she had no water to put it out with.

“The pipes are frozen,” Debbie said. “It (the fire) seemed to start in a utility room, inside the walls, and spread from the there. I tried to use a fire extinguisher but it didn’t work.”

Debbie said that she had a rough estimate of $40,000 to $50,000 in damage.

“Most of the damage is on the second floor, the walls, the roof. The place is now totally flooded.  The bar is intact, but the roof is coming down,” she explained. “It’s going to take a lot to get re-opened.”

She plans to get to work on getting on her feet right away and will try to re-open the bar as soon as she is able.


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