HOUSE FIRE

Fire damages historic Davenport home

2013-07-12T13:28:00Z 2013-07-13T06:09:21Z Fire damages historic Davenport homeBrian Wellner bwellner@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times

A Davenport home built in 1865 by the Runge family was damaged by fire Friday.

Davenport Fire Marshal Mike Hayman said his department is investigating the cause of the fire at 721 W. 7th St.

Firefighters arrived on scene shortly after the call 11:05 a.m. and found heavy flames and smoke coming from a second-story window, District Chief Robbie Minnaert said.

He said firefighters were able to confine the fire to the second floor but spent time chasing hot spots hiding in the attic of the old home.

He added that the steep staircase leading to the second floor as well as the extreme heat outside made tackling the fire especially challenging.

Five companies initially responded and were backed up by two additional companies who could rotate crews in and out of the home, he said.

The high temperature Friday climbed into the 80s.

For seven years, Aldona Barnett's uncle, Gerald Talandis, owned the home that sits in Davenport's historic Gold Coast neighborhood, and she spent a lot of time in the home.

The DeWitt, Iowa, woman said she ran over to the house upon hearing the fire trucks. She was visiting her fiance who lives in the neighborhood.

"It's heartbreaking," Barnett said. "It was an awesome house. He tried to keep it as original as possible. If you could have seen it before the fire, you would be in awe."

Talandis got a $50,000 city historical society grant for renovations, including rewiring the house and reinforcing the dining room ceiling, Barnett said.

Talandis had to give up the house in foreclosure, Barnett said.

Six months ago, it was sold to Joseph and Lydia Erenberger, according to Scott County records. Barnett said they also had done some renovation work.

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