No one was injured but high winds prevented firefighters from saving a residence in rural North Liberty as the fire also claimed the lives of family pets inside.
According to a media release from the North Liberty Fire Department, firefighters responded at 9:51 a.m. Wednesday to a report of smoke coming from a residence at 2855 270th Street NW in rural North Liberty. As the first unit arrived, firefighters observed fire coming from the second-floor window and from the roof of the home, according to the release.
Fire crews made multiple attempts to knock the fire down but they were “largely unsuccessful due to high wind conditions” according to the release.
No residents were home at the time of the fire, but family pets “succumbed to fire” according to the release.
The cause of the fire has not been determined yet, but is believed to have been accidental, according to the release. The home, assessed at $336,100, has been determined to be a total loss.
The Red Cross is assisting the residents in the aftermath, according North Liberty Fire Chief Brian Platz.
Platz said that despite home being located in rural North Liberty, the response time to the fire was still within 10 minutes. He said the wind played a more significant factor, actually aiding the fire’s growth when in another circumstance it might have helped the firefighters bring the fire under control.
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“I’ve never fought a fire in my 25 years that had wind conditions like that,” Platz said.
Multiple alarms were sounded in an attempt to stop the fire, with firefighters from Coralville, Hills, Iowa City, Oxford, Solon, Swisher, Tiffin and West Branch responding, according to the release. Also assisting were Johnson County Ambulance, the North Liberty Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol.
Crews were on the scene for just under five hours, according to the release.