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VINTON – A fire that broke out in a Vinton furniture store and spread to neighboring businesses Thursday night was still smoldering Saturday morning.

The fire broke a little after 7 p.m. Thursday in the Michael & Dowd Furniture Store, 102 E. Fourth St. The fire then spread to Clingman Pharmacy and the Fischer Law Firm with additional smoke and water damage to other businesses.

The blaze was still sending smoke into the neighborhood south of the scene Friday and knocked out power to some of the surrounding shops, according to city officials.

On Friday, police were asking residents to avoid the area because of firefighting equipment on the streets, uncertainty about the stability of some structures and slippery conditions on roads and sidewalks from water used in the firefighting efforts.

In addition to the Vinton Fire Department, firefighters from Garrison, Shellsburg, Urbana, Mount Auburn and VaHorne were called to the scene. Officials with the Vinton Police Department, North Benton Ambulance and Benton County Sheriff’s Office also assisted.

On Saturday, the businesses continued to send smoke out.

Vinton Fire Chief Charlie Garwood said the department and others were grateful for the outpouring of support in the way of food, hot beverages and shelter during the fire.

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Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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