Iola in Waupaca County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
1999 Father's Day Fire
June 20, 1999 – Father’s Day – was disrupted by a blaze that destroyed seven buildings on the west side of Main Street in downtown Iola under a gorgeous blue-sky and calm weather. More than 200 firefighters from Iola, Scandinavia, and eight other Central Wisconsin fire departments, along with volunteers from the large group of bystanders, battled the blaze that destroyed historic century-old buildings, some dating to pre-1890. Eleven businesses and eleven apartments were engulfed by the flames. Shared basements and attics meant the fire easily sped from one building to the next in a short period of time. A towering plume of black smoke stuck out like a sore thumb in the blue sky.
By knocking down two buildings in the middle of the block, firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading north to the rest of the block. Fortunately, no one was injured, although
Businesses destroyed include Bestul Realty, Iola Vision Center, Grandpa’s Still, Physical Therapy Associates, Iola Veterinary Clnic, State Farm Insurance, Sweet Medicines Pharmacy, Kranski Krafts, X-L Communications, Associated Claims Service, Coatco, and Yonash Construction.
The determined village quickly rebuilt buildings so businesses could get back on their feet, but there is still a historical hole in the heart of Iola.
Erected 2010 by Iola Historical Society. (Marker Number 2.)
Location. 44° 30.454′ N, 89° 7.868′ W. Marker is in Iola, Wisconsin, in Waupaca County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (State Highway 49/161) and State Street, on the right when traveling south on North Main Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 115 N. Main St., Iola WI 54945, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Iola’s Dr. Loope (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The “Spud Alley” Era (about 400 feet away); Iola’s Early History (about 500 feet away); Iola Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away); Birthplace of Numismatic News (approx. 0.2 miles away); Iola Mills (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birthplace of the Iola Old Car Show (approx. 0.4 miles away); Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer (approx. 2.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Iola.
Also see . . .
1. Firefighters recall 1999 Father's Day Fire. WaupacaNOW (August 6, 2010) (Submitted on July 11, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Father's Day Fire historical marker placed in Iola. WaupacaNOW (July 29, 2010) (Submitted on July 11, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 507 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.