Coralville business owners clean up after fire

COLAVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) — Business owners are picking up the slack after a fire destroyed a building in Coraville.

The fire broke out Saturday night in the 300 block of Second Street, also known as U.S. Highway 6. The fire displaced 17 people living on the upper floors. The lower level has many commercial spaces including A-1 Uniforms and Taxes Plus.

A-1 Uniforms owner Beth Cody said her business was not damaged by the fire, but by efforts to put it out. “[Fire crews] Had to put it out with so much water that my store was completely submerged and destroyed,” Cody said.

The same happened to Marlene Perrin, owner of Taxes Plus. “All we got was flooding, but we had to move out, move out quickly,” Palin said.

It’s never a good time for a fire to disrupt a business, but Palin said it came at a particularly bad time.

“The biggest issue is that all the deferrals for income taxes are due this weekend. By the end of the month, all the quarterly reports are due. So we’re really busy. Now is not a good time to close,” Palin said.

The fire and cleanup cost Perrin’s business several days of lost work. She’s moving into a new building, and she predicts she’ll be able to adapt despite the shock.

“I think we’ll be fine, but it hurts a little bit,” Palin said.

While the documentation for the Perrin business pillar has mostly remained the same, it’s a different story when it comes to the A-1 uniform.

“I have over $50,000 in inventory that has been destroyed,” Cody said. “All the ceiling tiles and panels fell off. Those were soaking wet and falling apart. They were all on the ground. And there was debris all over the place.”

Cody is insured, but the future remains uncertain.

“I think it will cover a few things,” Cody said. “I don’t know, though, if they’re going to tear down the whole building. And if I’ll be able to stay here, which I really like, or if I’ll have to find a new place, or a temporary one. At this point, everything It’s all up in the air.”

Although her business took a hit, Cody was grateful. “You know, for me, it’s just me. And the people who live upstairs have lost their homes, 17 people who have no place to live now. I’m really lucky that it wasn’t my home that was destroyed and Destruction,” Cody said.

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