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House fire in Muscatine resulting in ice buildup; Crews ask travelers to avoid Iowa Avenue

Crews are battling the blaze in subzero temps, meaning there is ice buildup in the area.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Muscatine Fire Department is asking travelers and residents to avoid Iowa Avenue just north of 8th Street as its crews battle a house fire amid subzero temperatures Friday morning. 

News 8's Jonathan Fong was at the scene where a house appears to be completely engulfed in smoke. The roof of the house looks like it has caved in. The fire department says no injuries have been reported at this time.

Muscatine firefighters responded to a house fire shortly after 7:46 a.m. on Friday.

The fire was considered under control at 9:33 a.m.

One resident and a dog were safely evacuated from the house located along the 100 block of W 9th Street. One dog remains unaccounted for.

According to Muscatine Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hartman, the cause of the fire is still being investigated but it may have been caused by a resident trying to warm the pipes.

Crews battled the blaze in subzero temps and strong winds, which greatly hindered firefighting efforts.

Please steer clear of Iowa Avenue north of 8th Street. Crews are fighting a house fire and not only do they need the...

Posted by Muscatine Fire Department on Friday, December 23, 2022

The house is being considered a total loss, with the damages in excess of $150,000.

There were no injuries to any citizens or response personnel. The extreme weather did cause some minor exposure issues and created a large hazard due to extensive ice buildup.

First responders faced a variety of issues battling the fire in extreme weather conditions. The cold makes everything that is hit with water or overspray to ice up, which can create some massive ice buildup in these conditions.  

“With the roads being slick from the snow it slows our response and makes some responses - like driving the aerial up a slick hill - more challenging” Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Mike Hartman said. “We did have a slight issue getting the aerial ladder back in place due to ice.”

The Muscatine Fire Department was also assisted by fire crews from the Fruitland Fire Department and the Wilton Fire Department. Approximately 25 firefighters responded to the fire

Other details about the fire are unknown at this time. 

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