Cedar Rapids firefighters extinguish blaze at flood-damaged house

Details on fire, cause not yet known

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CEDAR RAPIDS – Firefighters contained an attic fire within 10 minutes at a flood-damaged house Friday afternoon.

According to the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, construction workers installing a door at a nearby house noticed smoke coming from the roof of 421 C Ave. NW and called 911 at 1:41 p.m.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke pouring from the second floor window on the back of the vacant house, the release said.

They were able to contain the fire to the attic area of the home within 10 minutes, and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but CRFD Public Information Officer Greg Buelow said it’s possible that someone was in the home. The home was not secured in any way, there are no utilities connected to the structure, several windows were broken, and doors were missing.

The owner of the house is listed as Roy Jewett of Cedar Rapids, but the house appears to have been vacant since 2008.

Today’s fire is the 28th known fire to occur within the flood zone, and Buelow said it’s important for neighbors to alert authorities of any suspicious activity or persons around the vacant flood-damaged houses.

Not only are fires a hazard in these vacant homes, Buelow said, but faulty foundations are also highly dangerous. Neighbors of the house today said the structure’s foundation and porch are in danger of collapsing.

People looking for protection from the cold should instead seek out local shelters, he said.

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