El Rancho Grande building tests negative for asbestos

El Rancho Grande burnt down in April.

The owners of the Mexican restaurant that burnt down this past April will soon be hiring a demolition contractor to tear down the remains of their building.

El Rancho Grande's owners have been in touch with Ottumwa's Health Department since the fire. Both parties are anxious to see the building demolished. Test results from samples taken of the building came in on Friday, which tested negatively for asbestos. Ottumwa's Health and Inspections Director Jody Gates says this is good news because without asbestos, the costs of demolition will be less expensive than some people had anticipated. However, Gates is reminding people in the community to respect the barricades around the burnt building.

â??Burned buildings are dangerous,â?? Gates said. â??There's the danger you can see and danger of course you can't until you're in the middle of it. It's private property, and of course the building owner could have someone charged with trespass if there's anybody caught in the building.â??

As of right now, there is no timetable for when the structure will be demolished.