CLINTON — Investigators were on the scene Monday of separate fires in Clinton early Sunday that left one man hospitalized in critical condition, and two bar owners hoping to rebuild the business that a second fire destroyed.
Firefighters first were called to a fire at a home at 2351 Chancy St. at 1:36 a.m. Sunday. Acting Battalion Chief Michael McQuistion said Monday the fire was caused by a candle that was knocked over.
The injured man, who had not been identified pending notification of relatives, was in critical condition at University Hospitals in Iowa City.
At 2:04 a.m.Sunday, firefighters were called to The Odeon, a bar and reception hall at 80 25th Ave. N.
Co-owner Gordy Carroll said he and his business partner, Gary Sawyer, who live above the business, were awakened by smoke and escaped uninjured.
The Odeon was a Clinton landmark built in 1870 by the city’s early German residents. It has served as a community gathering spot for drama and musical performances, guest speakers, celebrations and local fairs.
Carroll said the Odeon also was known by many Clinton residents for its bowling alley, which in recent years has been used only for special occasions.
Carroll said Monday morning that the fire department’s investigation into the cause of the fire had just begun, and it was unknown where or how the fire started.
Carroll said he and Sawyer have owned the bar for 11 years.
“It’s been quite an experience for us,” he said. “We’ve met a lot of great people. It’s been our connection to the community.”
Carroll said he and Sawyer would like to rebuild, but it was too soon to say for sure.
He also said he and Sawyer have appreciated the outpouring of support they have received from customers, friends and the Clinton community.
“It’s been overwhelming,” he said.