Blaze ravages FD home
Fire official: No one injured in late night fire
A blaze that sent flames leaping high above the treetops in a southern Fort Dodge neighborhood Sunday night destroyed a garage, charred a house and damaged some nearby buildings.
Neighbors reported hearing small explosions as flames ripped through the house and garage at 934 S. 27th St. Those blasts may have been caused by exploding propane tanks or tires bursting on a pickup truck in the garage, according to firefighters.
No one was injured. Fire Department Capt. Jeff Hill said there were people in the house when the fire broke out, and they escaped unharmed.
Firefighters believe the fire started in the garage, but the cause has not been determined.
“I was laying in my bed and there was a big explosion,” said Murray Maguire, who lives nearby on South 26th Street.
He said so much light was coming through the Venetian blinds on his bedroom windows that he thought for a moment that the sun was rising.
Maguire said when he went outside, he saw flames shooting 50 feet into the air.
“Things were blowing up,” he said. “It sounded like machine guns going off for a little bit.”
Maguire said when he called 911 to report the fire, the dispatcher told him that multiple calls had been received about it.
The fire was reported at 11:43 p.m., according to Fire Department reports.
“There was an extremely heavy fire condition in the garage,” Hill said. “The fire was extending very quickly into the house. It was also extending to a couple of garages to the south and some camper trailers.”
The first arriving firefighters used a kind of water cannon called a deck gun that is mounted on top of a pumper truck to put the initial water on the large volumne of flames. Four hoselines were also used.
Five off-duty firefighters were called in to help.
Hill said the garage was destroyed.
He said there is extensive fire damage throughout the house and it cannot be occupied.
He said two garages nearby sustained significant exterior damage, while some siding was melted on a house across the street.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“We believe the area of origin is inside the garage, but we don’t know yet what the exact cause was,” Hill said.
Firefighters and police were on the scene until 8 a.m. Monday.
Online records of the Webster County Assessors Office list the owners of the home as Alissa Martinson Andrews, Daniel E. Martinson, Mark M. Martinson and Melvin and Jean Martinson. The house was built in 1957, according to those records.
That fire was one of two in Fort Dodge Sunday. The first fire was reported at 2:48 p.m. and destroyed a garage at 412 N. 16th St.