FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an arsonist started a fire that destroyed a former church building in downtown Fort Dodge.
The fire was reported around 2 p.m. Saturday, and two exterior walls collapsed around 3:15 p.m.
The building was originally home to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the early 1900s, until the Fort Dodge Church of Christ moved into the building in the 1950s. In 1985 a private owner bought the building and lived there. A business has been using the building.
No one was reported inside the building during the fire, but Fire Chief Kent Hulett says there’s a report that a woman was inside the building before the fire was reported.
A reward of up to $15,000 is being offered for information. The arson hotline number is 800-532-1459.