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Augustana 'Viking House' catches fire Wednesday afternoon

All eight residents of the school-owned home are reportedly safe. The cause of the fire has not been released yet.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Crews battled a structure fire at an Augustana-owned student home Wednesday afternoon.

Heavy flames were seen coming from the second floor of the "Viking House" located at 730 34th St. in Rock Island, just across from Augustana College.

None of the eight students who live the house were home were home at the time and no injuries occurred, according to a Facebook post from Rock Island Fire Department.

The residents will be relocated for the rest of their term since the house is now considered to be "inhabitable."

Firefighters say the cold weather and high winds made battling the blaze more challenging.

"It's a pretty large structure, and fire had worked its way through the upstairs," said Rock Island Fire Marshal Gregg Marty. "There was also a breeze...fanning through the fire (and) through the building even before the arrival of the fire department."

Smoke from the house could reportedly be seen from the Centennial Bridge which is located about three miles away.

Credit: WQAD

Members of the Rock Island, Moline, and Arsenal Fire Departments responded to the incident.

"We are so grateful for the response and assistance by Augustana College Police, Security and maintenance department," Marty said. "Augustana staff has a history of efficient and proper response to any incidents on or near campus and today was no exception."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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