Fire destroys a year’s work at new business location in Nashua

A Friday fire destroyed over a year’s worth of hard work the young owners of a successful catering business had put into the new location of Tangled Root Cafe and Catering at 309 Main St. in Nashua.
Although responders arrived quickly to the call that came about 1:30 p.m., by the time the smoke cleared, some could be seen milling about behind the building from the front, through the shattered front window and holes in the rear wall where daylight shone through.
“I know it started in the back of the building,” Nashua Fire Chief Tom Johnson said Friday after a walkthrough.
MidAmerican Energy assisted to take care of a downed power line behind the building that was still live.
“Just looking at it [the power line] a little bit after the fire, I would say it probably fell away from the building more so than that it caused the fire,” Johnson said.
He hopes to complete a more detailed walkthrough and talk to the property owners in the next couple of days.
Johnson noted the fridge and freezers were drawing some electricity.
“As of right now ... what we’re leaning toward is probably an electrical issue somewhere,” Johnson said Friday.
Tangled Root and building co-owners Angie Dietz and fiancé Chris Robinson had the property transaction recorded just over a year before, on March 29, 2017. That year, they remodeled the dining room, installing new flooring, a social media account for the business shows.
Based on the initial walkthrough, Johnson ruled out foul play.
“Nothing seems suspicious. It looks like more of an unfortunate accident, unfortunate for the property owners for sure,” Johnson said.
Just two weeks prior, Dietz and Robinson had been serving lunch alongside the Nashua Women of Today at the town festival, Water Over the Dam Days.
About 15 Nashua Fire and Rescue members responded to the scene. They were assisted by Nashua Police Department, Iona Volunteer Fire, Charles City Fire and Rescue, Plainfield Fire and Rescue, Chickasaw County Rescue, Chickasaw Ambulance Service, Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office and Dispatch, Chickasaw County Emergency Management Agency and MidAmerican Energy, and probably more.
Many individuals also showed up to help, including retired firefighters, an off-duty state patrol officer and off-duty police chief. Community members brought responders water and dropped off cookies and punch at the fire station.
As the department was caring for its community, Johnson said, “They’re taking care of us as much as we try to take care of them.”
— For more on this story, see the July 10 New Hampton Tribune, July 12 Nashua Reporter and July 9 Charles City Press.

New Hampton Tribune

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New Hampton, IA 50659
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