The Tama building is considered a total loss according to Burlington Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Workman.
Two firefighters were transported to an area hospital due to injuries received while fighting the fire. Both have since been released and their injuries are not considered life threatening.
Firefighters remain on scene applying water to hot spots and smoldering embers. Primary high power lines were struck during the blaze. Alliant Energy is still working to restore power to downtown Burlington.
The fire was called in by a citizen who saw the flames from three blocks away. Six departments and fifty-three firefighters battled the blaze.
UPDATE 8/5/18 9:00 a.m.: Fire crews continue to battle smoke and flames at the Tama building in Burlington as of 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
The fire chief says the fire started in the Eastman building and then spread to the Chittenden. Parts of both buildings have collapsed. The east side of the Eastman building and north side of Chittenden building both saw partial collapses as of 9:00 a.m. Fire crews are concerned both buildings could collapse and are asking people to keep their distance.
Neighbors say they watched the flames all night and heard parts of the building collapse.
“We gathered on the balcony and watched and they said,’get all your cars because we don’t know how secure the building is,’ and then at about 6 this morning we heard a rumble and the whole back end of the building came down,” said Mark Renteria.
Renteria says he was planning to open a wine bar and grocery store on the bottom floor of the building. The Tama building was undergoing a $12 million renovation to also include 48 loft style apartments.
The Tama building previously caught fire in 2009.
ORIGINAL 8/5/18 4:45 a.m.: Fire crews remained on scene as of 4:45 a.m. Sunday after a fire broke out overnight in the Tama building.
Burlington Police say at least four neighboring fire departments are on scene assisting – Fort Madison, West Burlington, Danville and Mt. Pleasant.
Police say the call came in at 10:54 p.m. Saturday night, Aug. 4. The Tama building is located on 3rd Street and Jefferson Street.
The building is currently being renovated into apartments. Police say no one lives there currently, but a woman had to be rescued from the third floor. Fire crews were able to get her out using an aerial truck. She was not injured, according to Burlington Police.
No injuries have been reported.
Burlington Police also say part of the west wall collapsed.