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Overnight Fire Destroys Ottumwa Family’s Home

By Nick Davis, January 02, 2018

Ottumwa firefighters braved bitter cold temperatures overnight battling the first structure fire of 2018 in the city.

First Responders were called to the 100 block of South Iowa Avenue at approximately 12:50 Tuesday morning on reports of smoke and fire in the basement.

The fire quickly spread to the remainder of the home. Firefighters were unable to battle the blaze from the inside because of extensive fire and oxygen tanks still inside the home.

“We’ve had probably four or five oxygen tanks explode,” Assistant Fire Chief Mike Craff told Ottumwa Radio News. “Every time we get close, it seems like another one goes off. We don’t know how many are in there.”

The fire was still burning six hours after the initial call came in. The home is a total loss as a result of the blaze.

Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller says all of the residents of the home made it out before firefighters arrived. The American Red Cross has been called in to provide assistance to the family.

Craff confirmed that two pets are believed to have died in the fire.

Temperatures were a frigid 13 degrees below zero when the fire was called in, with wind chills as low as 30 below.

Chief Miller says the cause of the fire is under investigation. He adds that the fire is not considered suspicious in nature at this time.

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