- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several normally busy streets in downtown Des Moines remain closed following a massive weekend fire at a former department store.

Police were blocking traffic Monday on two-block sections of Locust and Walnut streets around the former Younkers building, causing some traffic delays as motorists were detoured around blocks in the heart of the city’s downtown. Street closures are expected to continue for at least several days.

Firefighters were called to the 115-year-old building early Saturday and could do little more than contain an intense blaze that destroyed the structure.

Investigators haven’t determined the cause of the fire. The building has been vacant since 2005. A developer was in the midst of a $36 million project to convert the building into apartments.


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