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Joice Library & Community Center Destroyed by Fire

September 21, 2018 07:37 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The town of Joice, Iowa lost an integral part of its community Friday morning. A fire destroyed the town of fewer than 250’s only library and community center.

When Pastor Bill Peters saw the rubble, he felt, “just kind of an emptiness when you see what’s devastated.”

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“We were paged out about 3 o’clock for a structure fire. They first thought it was between the fire station and the library and came up here, it’s the library on fire,” said Joice’s Fire Chief, Mark Dlawyer.

“This is one of the few pieces we have left –few parts of the community that people participate in,” Peters said.

The building is a total loss. Peters said the library is an important piece of the community, serving kids during the summer and after school. The library held more than books. It’s where memories were stored – local history, yearbooks, but now?

“Everything’s a total loss, everything’s gone,” Dlawyer said.

As Joice woke up, locals driving past what had been their library slowed down, taking photos as they passed.

“It’s a significant loss for Joice. And the community? We’ll rally around it and figure out what to do next, but in the meantime, it’s just a time to grieve,” Peters said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials say it's not suspicious. 

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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