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Sioux City building built in 1930s damaged by fire

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News,Business,History,South Dakota

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The owners of a distinctive Sioux City building that dates to the 1930s are trying to determine how much can be salvaged after a weekend fire.

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1e39uVb ) the Normandy building sustained significant damage Saturday.

The white building with cone-shaped turrets was the longtime home of the Normandy Restaurant. It has also housed other businesses and in recent years, several art studios.

Jennifer Vollmer said it was difficult to watch the building where she spent so much time as a child burn. Vollmer's family owned the building and ran the Normandy Restaurant.

"It was just shocking," Vollmer said. "For a good three hours we just sat here and watched it burn and watched the firefighters do the best they could."

Fire officials haven't been able to determine what caused the fire partly because it hasn't been safe for inspectors to enter the building.

Sioux City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph said the roof will have to be removed before investigators can enter because it is in danger of collapsing.

"We've got to remove it, pick it off, piece by piece," he said.

Much of the interior of the building had been vacant for about two years, but several local artists had been renting studio space.

Valerie Martin said instead of preparing for an art show at the building, she'll be working on salvaging the artwork that firefighters saved.

"We had just finished building the studios over here, but now I'm just taking the rest of the art home," she said. "We were supposed to be having an opening next month to let people in and see what we had done."

Vollmer said her family had been considering renovating the building.

Vollmer said it's too soon to know if any of the building will be salvageable.

"It's not quite a historical landmark, but it's such a neat building that so many people have fond memories of," Vollmer said.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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