ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (KTIV) – No one was hurt after a brand new assisted living facility was severely damaged in a fire Tuesday morning in Rock Valley, Iowa.
Chief Brent Eshuis of the Rock Valley Fire Department said the fire was called in around 6 a.m. at the River View Ridge Living Center.
Authorities say no one was living in the center.
“I was surprised, I guess devastated. I got here, and wow, it was devastating. It was a horrible, horrible fire,” said Todd Van Tol, President of the Board of Rock Valley Assisted Living.
Van Tol said the center was empty as residents weren’t set to move in until July 22.
He says now that date may be postponed for much longer.
“It’s pretty well totaled out, the way it looks. The part that’s standing has water and smoke damage throughout. The rest of it, the roof has collapsed, so my guess is it will have to be rebuilt,” said Eshuis.
Officials say the sprinkler system has been installed but it wasn’t turned on yet.
Van Tol says although it’s very sad, there’s still a silver lining.
“I just praise God that it was not people, it’s stuff. Things that we can deal with and replace. People’s lives are impacted, but nobody was hurt during the process,” said Van Tol.
Van Tol also says those who were planning to move in this month will now receive help to find other accommodations until the facility is rebuilt.
The fire chief said it took about 60 firefighters and 300-400,000 gallons of water to put out the fire.
He says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.