Apartment residents injured in Cedar Rapids high-rise fire at Geneva Tower – The Gazette

Gage MiskimenGage Miskimen

Feb. 20, 2022 9:52 am, Updated: Feb. 20, 2022 12:26 pm

Apartment residents injured in Cedar Rapids high-rise fire at Geneva Tower

Apartment residents injured in Cedar Rapids high-rise fire at Geneva Tower

Scorch marks are evident on the ninth through 12th floors on the west face of Geneva Tower, 310 Fifth Ave. SE, on Feb. 20 after an early morning fire. At midday, crews had just begun boarding up units where fire had breached the western side of building. (The Gazette)

Scorch marks are evident on the ninth through 12th floors on the west face of Geneva Towers, 310 Fifth Ave SE on February 19, 2022, after an early morning fire. At midday, crews had just begun boarding up units where fire had breached the western side of building. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Fire crews battled a large apartment fire in downtown Cedar Rapids into early Sunday morning.

Cedar Rapids firefighters responded to the fire at the Geneva Tower, 310 Fifth Ave. SE, just after midnight. The building primarily houses elderly and disabled residents

Firefighters arrived as heavy smoke and flames were visible from the ninth floor and spread to the 10th, according to the fire department.

All residents in the building were evacuated as the department used high-rise ladders and fire suppression systems.

The firefighting operations were stopped around 3 a.m.

One resident of the senior-housing building was transported to a specialty treatment center for smoke inhalation and possible heat-related injuries, according to a Sunday morning news release.

A number of other residents were taken to hospitals for smoke exposure and other medical issues, the release said. No injuries to firefighters were reported, and multiple area departments helped put out the fire.

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services team was on scene with its ITC mobile kitchen, providing support to residents and responders with hot chocolate, food and socks.

Linn County Emergency Management also reported it received a call from the American Red Cross around 3 a.m. asking for assistance with moving a shelter trailer downtown for displaced residents.

Veritas Church has become a temporary Red Cross shelter and canceled church services for Sunday.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

The building — which has 13 stories, 60 one-bedroom apartments and 132 efficiency units — has had at least two other fires in the past 20 years, records show. Those fires occurred in 2014 and 2002.