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No injuries as fire strikes another CC apartment

No injuries as fire strikes another CC apartment

Highland Terrance evacuated for about an hour

An apartment fire Wednesday night marked Charles City’s third residential fire in less than two weeks.

No injuries were reported at the fire that broke out in the kitchen of a third floor apartment in a complex in the 2100 block of Clark Street. People displaced by fire damage found shelter for the night with family members, although the Red Cross was alerted, emergency services spokespeople said.

The Charles City Fire Department was dispatched to the fire at about 9:45 p.m.

Evacuated residents, some wrapped in blankets and others waiting in vehicles in the apartment building’s parking lot, watched as firefighters doused the fire. Some had little protection against the wind gusts that made the temperature feel like the low 30s.

Residents were able to return to their apartments around 10:30 p.m., soon after which firefighters departed the scene.

The fire appeared to have begun as a cooking fire, according to a fire department spokesman.

The results of the state fire marshal’s investigation from the Tuesday, Nov. 10 fire in a neighboring apartment building have not yet been released. Steven Roy Sadler, 61, died at Floyd County Medical Center after being found by firefighters who extinguished the early morning fire in his ground level apartment. He was laid to rest Friday.

On Nov. 16, an electrical malfunction on an outdoor outlet sparked a fire at 106 Park Lane Drive. There was moderate damage to the side of the home, but no injuries were reported.

State trend

Although none of Charles City’s fires were confirmed to have anything to do with trying to heat a home, this is a dangerous time of year because of the cooling temperatures.

The Iowa Red Cross issued a news release on Tuesday noting that since Friday, Nov. 13, its volunteers had responded to 15 homes fires in Lamoni, Centerville, Des Moines, Denison, Libertyville, Hampton, Albert City, Strawberry Point, Dubuque, Charles City, Ogden and Cedar Rapids.

“In just four days, Red Cross volunteers have offered help and hope to 64 Iowans,” said Julie Struck, regional disaster officer for the Iowa Region of the Red Cross. “But the good news is that there are steps you can take when using heating equipment to reduce your risk of a home fire.”

Heating sources are the second leading cause of home fire deaths, and fatal home fires increase during the winter months, the news release said.

Space heaters, fireplaces or wood and coal stoves can pose a fire hazards, and fatal fires peak in the early morning hours when most people are sleeping, it said. To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross offers these tips: – All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.

– Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.

– Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.

– Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

– Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned if necessary.

– If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.

According to the Charles City Fire Department’s media report for the week ending Nov. 15, aside from the fatal apartment fire Nov. 10 at 2102 Clarkview Drive, the department investigated an overheated furnace at a home in the 700 block of Gilbert Street.

The second home fire Charles City fought was Nov. 16 at 106 Park Lane Drive.

By Chris Baldus [email protected]

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