Cause of Iowa fire still under investigation - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cause of Iowa fire still under investigation

(Theresa Schmidt / KPLC) (Theresa Schmidt / KPLC)

An early morning fire in Iowa consumed a house, all the while, causing many at the scene to fear an older man who lived there had perished inside.

But once the fire was out, the man was found very much alive.

Just before 3 a.m. the Iowa Volunteer Fire Department got the call. The home, at the corner of South Stockwell Avenue and West Third Street, was engulfed in a fire. The flames got higher and fiery smoke billowed out the top.

Bystanders said they heard what firefighters said was ammunition popping.

Assistant Chief Glenn Mott said old cars, trees and other stuff around the house made it hard to fight the fire.

"Obstructions around the house made it a little harder to get to," Mott said. "We had two engine companies first on the scene. We hit it from two sides."

All the while, firefighters, neighbors and family members feared the elderly man who lived inside failed to make it out. Mott said it didn't look good.

"We figured we were going to have to do a body recovery and that's something we never want to do," Mott said.

After the fire was knocked down, a banging sound caught Mott's attention and he discovered the man and his dogs were alive.

"I found the gentleman propped up against the van and I'm like, 'Oh Lord, this is awesome.' He's tired. He was sitting in the smoke area so, you know, he possibly had some smoke inhalation, a little dehydrated but he seemed to be in pretty good spirits," Mott said.

The man was in the ambulance, getting checked out by attendants who were undoubtedly going to take him to the hospital to be examined some more. But he decided he didn't want to be transported so he wound up leaving the scene in a pickup truck with either friends or relatives.
Fire Chief Sandi Miller said the cause of the fire is under investigation. She said the man, whose name is not being released, is fine and staying with family.

The Iowa Volunteer Fire Department did call for mutual aid help and was assisted by several other area fire departments. Officials said the blaze and challenges associated with it are a reminder how important volunteers are to departments such as Iowa.

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