- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) - Rock Island residents have started the recovery process after a weekend fire ripped through the heart of downtown, destroying or damaging eight buildings in the western Illinois city.

Tattoo shop owner Dan Bonowski said he’ll absolutely be back in business. He has insurance, but he said he’s still not sure what will happen next.

“By hook or by crook, we’re going to find some way,” he said.

The back half of his shop, Jaded Gypsy Tattoo, and some of the equipment inside were destroyed.

The fire burned a hole in the neighboring building that houses a pizza restaurant, but didn’t cause much damage other than the lingering smell of smoke, which was still present as crews cleared out furniture.

Other buildings in the area had minor damage. Windows on several stories of one building were damaged by heat, while a bar and apartment building were damaged by falling debris.

A few businesses located on the block where the fire occurred reopened a day of two later.

The fire started just after 4 a.m. Saturday in a vacant building, the (Moline) Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1wStOh5 ) reported. The vacant building, known as the Mississippi Cafe, was scheduled for demolition Monday, so all of the utilities were shut off.

Mayor Dennis Pauley said the fire department is investigating and the city plans to help victims however it can.

Brian Hollenbeck, president of Renaissance Rock Island, said he’s helping displaced fire victims find places to stay until they get on their feet. He’s also trying to work with affected businesses, including Jaded Gypsy, to get them back up and running.

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Information from: The Dispatch, https://www.qconline.com


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