- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Some Waterloo residents are upset that nine months after a fire destroyed Tri-City Clothing, piles of rubble from the building and its contents remain.

City officials say they’re at odds with the building’s owner over the debris from the December blaze that authorities suspect was caused by a faulty furnace. They say the owner is responsible for the cleanup but doesn’t have the money to do so.

Waterloo City Attorney David Zellhoefer said the owner doesn’t have enough insurance and that the property likely has asbestos. He said the city is currently in discussion with the landlord’s attorney over the mess.

He added that he’ll look into whether a fence can be installed around the rubble in the meantime.

Waterloo resident Dwight Porter told television station KWWL (https://bit.ly/1FyQQgA ) that the rubble - with shoes, hats, old sweaters and beer cans - attracts rats, possums and other animals.

Other residents, like Tracey Wise, question why the city cannot clean up the rubble itself and send the bill to the landlord, but city officials say there’s a legal process and that they’re trying to avoid spending tax dollars.

City Council member Quentin Hart said in a statement that officials will continue to fight in holding the landlord accountable concerning the cleanup.

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Information from: KWWL-TV, https://www.kwwl.com

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