In the center of Calhoun County, one rural township fire department has reason to celebrate.
The Butler Township Fire Department is thriving, and recently put up a new building to replace its aging fire station in Knoke.
It’s a big step up, according to Fire Chief Randy Neeman.
“It’s 60-by-60, which gives us lots of room,” Neeman said. “Now we can do training in here, that we never used to be able to do inside.”
The old station barely left any room to walk between the trucks, Neeman said. “You waited till summer, and would do training outside,” he said. “There wasn’t much you could do in the wintertime, because there was just enough room to walk between the trucks, and a little space behind them for a table and chairs, and that’s all we had.”
The building took a few years of looking ahead.
“It’s really been in progress for three or four years, probably,” he said. “The trustees for the township have been putting some money away every year, for whatever reason — if we need to upgrade a truck, or something like that.”
Fort Dodge Messenger
Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a duplex fire in Coralville Wednesday evening.
The fire started at 6 p.m. at 710 and 712 4th Avenue Place in Coralville. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the attic and roof area of both units in about 30 minutes. But there is smoke and water damage to both of the units. No one was injured. The Red Cross is helping the three people that lived inside who are now displaced.
Firefighters stayed at the scene until 8:30 p.m. The fire caused about $50,000 in damage.
KCRG-TV ABC 9 Cedar Rapids
Two people are dead following a house fire on the north side of Des Moines on Wednesday and authorities still have few answers they are willing to share.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office says the first report of the fire in the 5600 block of NW 1st Street came in around 4:22 am on Wednesday. A deputy was on the scene one minute later and found flames already shooting from the home. Firefighters discovered two bodies in the home when the flames were finally knocked down late in the morning.
"It was a massive surprise," Jarad Kruse who works at the nearby Capital City Kubota said, “All of the lights, all the cars and everything were lined up ... you just knew what happened.
“You come in and you see right in the middle of something I have come to for the past 30 years is burned down," Kruse said.
Kruse says two people lived in the home. He says they were an older couple who owned two dogs.
WHO-TV NBC 13 Des Moines
A Sunday morning fire damaged a bowling alley in Davenport.
According to Davenport Fire Marshal Jim Morris, firefighters were dispatched about 12:30 a.m., Sunday, to 30 Lanes Bowling Alley, 3812 N. Harrison St.
Three trucks, five engines and command personnel vehicle responded to find heavy smoke conditions and a significant amount of heat inside the building. The building sustained significant damage.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is continuing to investigate the fire.
City of New Vienna hosted a fundraiser kickoff for a new municipal building and firehouse construction project Feb. 10, in an effort to educate citizens and gather community support for project that could break ground as soon as this summer.
Mayor Pat Hermsen, also a longtime fireman with the city, unveiled plans from Demmer Architecture for the project, which will cost approximately $980,000.
“The cost of construction is more than our city of 400 people can handle,” Hermsen said. “So to help us counter that, we’re reaching out to our rural patrons of our fire department.”
Hermsen said that some of the funding would come from property taxes, but that donations would also comprise a large percentage as well.
The project would add much needed space for the fire department, which currently includes 30 firefighters and EMS workers. The plan would also add a community center with a capacity of 200 plus people — a project that has seen significant community support, according to Hermsen.
When Karrie Higgins thought she smelled something hot, she didn’t expect to see flames coming out of her bedroom walk-in closet.
Higgins, her husband and daughter, of Davenport, are reeling from the Monday afternoon fire that left them with virtually nothing.
“It was horrible,” she said, fighting tears. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Her daughter, Samantha, 12, came home sick from school and was lying on the couch while Higgins watched “The Dr. Phil Show.”
Her friends and family have long teased Higgins about her phrase, she "smells something hot." This time, it was all too real: She walked into the kitchen “And I saw flames all the way to the ceiling.”
“I screamed,” she said. She had her phone, but somewhere along the way lost track of it. Soon, she said firefighters were on the scene.