- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MARQUETTE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the cause of a massive fire that damaged or destroyed several businesses and homes in the northeast Iowa community of Marquette.

Firefighters from eight area departments battled the blaze for hours after it was first reported Monday morning on North Street in downtown Marquette, which sits on the Mississippi River. No injuries were reported.

The fire destroyed a historic, two-story hardware store. Apartments on the top floor, as well as a nearby home and duplex, were heavily damaged. Nearby businesses were also affected.

Marquette Fire Chief Dan Bickel says a man who lived in one of the apartments used an extinguisher but couldn’t stop the flames. He then warned others so they could flee to safety.

A local American Red Cross is assisting affected residents.

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