Oily rags started fire at landmark Iowa restaurant


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Oily rags that spontaneously ignited were the cause of the fire that damaged a landmark Iowa City restaurant.

The Iowa City Fire Department announced Thursday that Sunday’s fire at Hamburg Inn No. 2 was accidental. The restaurant is a popular stop for politicians running for president and residents seeking comfort food.

The department says the fire started on a wall shelving unit located next to a clothes dryer in the basement of the building. Oily rags that had recently been laundered continued releasing heat until they started a fire, which spread up the wall and ignited other materials.

The department says that a copper water line slowed the growth of the fire, which caused an estimated $30,000 in damage. The restaurant is expected to be closed a few weeks.

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