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. Touch 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 walking distance of this marker. Iola’s Dr. Loope (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); R. I. Anderson Machine Shop (about 300 feet away); The “Spud Alley” Era (about 400 feet away); The CWEC Electrified Rural Iola in 1939 (about 400 feet away); Iola’s Early History (about 500 feet away); Krause Publications (about 500 feet away); Iola Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away); Iola’s Firefighting Heritage (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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 was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 7, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 551 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 7, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.