WAPELLO, Iowa — Wapello Fire and Rescue responded Monday afternoon to a report of flames coming from the windows of a two-story house on the 500 block of North Prairie Street.
Two adults and three children resided at the address. However, according to the department, no one was home at the time of the fire.
With the Wapello water tower out of service for maintenance and hydrant operations not possible at the time of the fire, crews requested immediate water shuttle assistance from the Morning Sun and Grandview fire departments. Additional service was requested from Columbus Junction Fire Department, as tankers were being refilled in neighboring towns and limiting labor force and speed.
Firefighters remained on scene for approximately 2.5 hours. The structure and contents of the home were significantly damaged.
Wapello Fire and Rescue reported, as of Tuesday, the cause of the fire remained under investigation but wasn't considered suspicious.
The fire department shared images from the scene to its Facebook page Tuesday. The post included pictures from both sides of a door in the house - one charred and the other nearly unscathed - to emphasize the importance of leaving doors closed and feeling them for heat before opening them during a fire. According to the department, doing so will not only increase chances of survival but also decrease potential damage a building sustains during a fire.