Businesses in Fort Madison are heightening security in their stores after two fires in two days, and four fires in the past few months and local officials are putting stronger efforts to finding the cause.
Fort Madison Police Chief Bruce Niggemeyer says he and Fire Chief Joey Herron have decided extra personnel to finding the cause of recent fires in the city.
"We have been given considerable resources to see that we find that answer," Niggemeyer said.
Niggemeyer added that all local law enforcement are working together to find the cause, and now the ATF is also working in coordination with the efforts.
"I want to assure the public that we are taking these fires very serious and that we will take all steps possible to find out how and why these fires are occurring," he added.
The most recent call came when a family was evacuated from a two-story apartment building during an overnight fire Monday in Fort Madison.
The apartment building fire was the latest fire on Avenue G in two days and has residents and business owners in Fort Madison concerned.
"We are definitely becoming more diligent. We're keeping an eye out more on the people we see in the area. We're keeping lights on at night," Kathy Greenwald, owner of Forget-Me-Not Antiques, said. We're making sure that the doors are locked. Just doing whatever we can do to make us feel a little safer down here."
Two businesses, Book Nook and Cure Solutions, were heavily damaged in an early Saturday morning fire. In late July, when the Tri-State Furniture Store burned to the ground.
Old Fort Madison caught fire in early October and was labeled suspicious in nature. In mid-November, a room in the old Sheaffer Pen Company building also caught fire.
Iowa State Fire Marshals did meet with Fire Chief Joey Herren Monday to help in the continuing investigation of these fires.
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