Arson blaze destroys garage
A blaze that has been ruled an arson destroyed a garage and damaged a house and pickup truck early Monday morning.
“It’s an intentionally set fire,” Fire Department Capt. Steve Teske said.
No one was injured in the fire at 112 11th St. N.W. that was reported at 12:35 a.m. Monday.
Teske said two neighbors who were outside spotted a “huge orange glow” where there had been no sign of a fire just minutes earlier.
He said those neighbors helped two elderly residents get out of the house before firefighters arrived.
When firefighters arrived, they found a detached two-car garage fully engulfed in flames. The roof had already collapsed, Teske said.
He said there was also fire on the back side of the house where the electrical service line was attached. Additionally, power lines had burned through and fallen to the ground.
There were no vehicles in the garage. The pickup truck that was damaged was parked next to the garage.
Teske said MidAmerican Energy crews were able to quickly connect a new electrical service line to the house, and the residents were able to stay there after firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to check it for any signs of a smoldering fire. Firefighters also cleared smoke from the house.
Fort Dodge firefighters and police were on scene until 2:44 a.m.
The property is owned by Jack Bailey, according to online records of the Webster County Assessor’s Office.
The site of Monday’s fire is about 75 yards from a vacant house at 1025 First Ave. N.W. that caught fire on June 15. The house was boarded up and had no electrical service. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.
Monday’s fire was the third one in Fort Dodge that was declared to be intentionally set in recent months. The other fires were at 549 Third Ave. N. on April 8 and at 312 S. 16th St. on June 5.
A woman was arrested on a charge of second degree arson in connection with the Third Avenue North fire.