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Fire strikes FD apartment

Fort Dodge police officer evacuates resident

August 17, 2012
By BILL SHEA ( , Messenger News

A police officer kicked open the door of a Fort Dodge apartment Thursday afternoon to awaken the sleeping resident while flames raged in the apartment upstairs.

No one was injured in the fire at 222 K St., but the residents of both apartments in the two-story house will have to find a temporary place to stay, according to firefighters.

The fire was reported at 4:41 p.m.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Smoke streams from a home at 222 K St. Thursday as Fort Dodge firefighters finish putting out the blaze.

Jennifer Hanson, who lives next to the fire-damaged apartment house, said the man who lives in the upstairs unit came home from work to find his apartment on fire. She said she and her family were in their front yard when the man, identified by firefighters as Benjamin Chavez, came over to tell them about the fire. Two people called 911 to report it, she said.

Hanson said she saw smoke coming out of the second floor windows on the east side of the house. She also watched Patrol Officer Leighton Walker repeatedly knock on the door of the first-floor apartment before kicking it open.

After the door was open, the resident of that apartment, identified by firefighters as Terreva Hall, came outside.

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Firefighters Matt Brown and Nick Carlson pulled a hoseline up to the second floor and found the kitchen, bathroom and hallway fully engulfed in flames.

''We made a real good quick knockdown and prevented the fire from getting into the attic,'' Brown said.

He said some of the plaster on the kitchen ceiling was beginning to deteriorate, which was an indication that the flames were close to spreading into the attic.

Brown said Chavez told firefighters that when he entered the apartment he saw smoke and fire behind the refrigerator and heard an ''electrical sizzling sound.''

Fire Department Capt. Paul Neeson said the fire started when an overheated refrigerator condenser ignited something behind the refrigerator.

Five off-duty firefighters were called in to help the on-duty crew at the scene.

The apartment house is owned by Jose and Monica Angeles, of Fort Dodge, according to Fire Department reports.

Firefighters were on the scene for about two hours. After the fire was out, some of them left the scene to respond to a reported gas stove explosion at 1022 S. 27th St. That incident caused minor damage and no injuries.



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