Vinton Students Thanking First Responders


VINTON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The city of Vinton is still rebuilding after a massive fire tore through the downtown and burned through at least four buildings.

It happened last month when a fire sparked at Michael & Dowd Furniture Store.

It spread to Clingman Pharmacy, Fischer Law Firm, and the Benton County Title Company.

Firefighters from across Benton County spent days putting out the fire.


Today the Fischer law firm is still standing but the Michael & Dowd Furniture Store and Clingman Pharmacy are gone and all that's left over is debris and rubble from last months fire.

On Monday morning TV-9 visited with a group of students at Vinton-Shellbsburg High School.

Last week their Student Senate came up with an idea to create "Vinton Strong" t-shirts.

After speaking with their school's principal they got the "OK" to sell these shirts to raise money for the first responders in Benton County.

Senior Elisabeth Davis-Walker tells us this fundraiser is a great way to give back to their community.

"Our first responders, they help with every homecoming, floats, the police officers help us every homecoming, all the communities donate to our sporting events and to our fundraisers for sports, it's a good town, I'm proud to be part of it," says Davis-Walker.

And they are working with Tharp a local store in Vinton that designs and prints t-shirts.

February's fire hit the Vinton Community hard.

Junior Seth Patterson tells us he's friends with a lot of the families who owned those businesses that burned down.

He says walking down East Fourth Street is almost unrecognizable.

"It just looks a lot different going down you always saw the big neon green signs of Michael and Dowd but now all you can see if just the black char on the other buildings left," says Patterson.

Patterson tells us this fundraiser is a way to pay back all the firefighters and police officers who spent days putting out the fire and keeping his community safe.

All the money they raise from selling these shirts is going back to all the first responders who helped put out the fire in downtown Vinton.

Orders for these t-shirts are due Friday, March 9, 2018.

If you would like to order a shirt you can send a check (with the order forms found on the right in the related documents section) to Vinton-Shellsburg High School at 210 W 21st St., Vinton, Iowa.

You can make checks payable to "VS Student Senate."

Or call Tharp design at 319-472-2994.


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