ELDRIDGE — Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire that destroyed an Eldridge bar and reception hall last week.

A beer delivery man noticed the fire at Del’s Eatery & Pub about 8:15 a.m. Thursday and alerted owner David E. “Junior” DelVichio, who was inside making breakfast for his customers.

Everyone escaped the building unharmed. The fire, which originated on the west side of the building in the back of the reception hall, spread quickly and destroyed the building, a former Turner Hall built in 1885.

The fact that the fire began in the reception hall, an open area containing wooden tables and chairs, may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, Eldridge Fire Chief Tyler Schmidt said Tuesday.

“We tried to go inside a couple of times, but it was just too dangerous,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the fact that the wind was coming from the north and west may have saved the Eldridge Post Office, located just west of Del’s, from also being destroyed in the fire. The only damage to the post office building was a few windows that were cracked by the heat of the fire.

The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation of the cause. No damage estimate has been determined.


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