WATERLOO – Authorities continue to investigate a Thursday morning fire that damaged the landmark Wishbone Restaurant and Bar.
“The damage is extensive,” said Fire Chief Pat Treloar.
A police officer on patrol spotted smoke coming from the business at 201 W. 18th St. around 5:20 a.m. before it opened, and crews with Waterloo Fire Rescue were called to the scene.
“We had a large amount of fire in the building,” Treloar said.
One firefighter fell through a damaged floor after entering the building, Treloar said. The firefighter’s lower body went through the hole, and he was rescued by other firefighters. The firefighter wasn’t injured and remained at the scene, Treloar said.
“He’s fine, just a little shook up,” Treloar said.
The cause of the blaze hasn’t been determined, and the city fire marshal has been called to investigate.
Details of the damage weren’t available, but fire officials said there was a partial floor collapse in the dining area. Firefighters spent part of the day pumping water out of the restaurant’s basement.
Owners Randy and Cindy Hellman rushed down to the restaurant and waited outside while firefighters continued to douse the flames inside.
“There was smoke rolling out,” Cindy Hellman said.
The pair bought the restaurant, which has been around since the 1960s, in 2010.
Firefighters were called back to the scene around noon after investigators noticed additional smoke in the building.