South Second Avenue house a total loss after fire

The Marshalltown Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire at 304 S. Second Ave. on Saturday morning and ultimately performed a systematic demolition of the structure, which was deemed a total loss.

The MFD, the Marshalltown Police Department and UnityPoint EMS services received the call for service at 6:12 a.m., and fire crews noticed heavy smoke emanating from the house, which had been converted from a single family unit to a multifamily dwelling. After gaining entry through a front porch, the crews found the floors unstable with fire rising from the basement.

Firefighters applied water through a hole in the floor, and a second crew contained the fire through basement windows. Heavy fire was observed in the basement, and the first floor collapsed after fire breached it. After it moved up the exterior wall and into the second floor, the strategy was changed to attack it from the outside only.

The water supply was interrupted for several minutes after a fire hydrant broke, and it was eventually restored after a second hydrant was located.

According to a press release, eviction notices had been posted at the building in December, but people were still living inside of it. The MFD could not confirm if it was occupied at the time of the fire and was unable to search due to the conditions. Damage to the building is estimated at $30,000, which constitutes a total loss. No firefighters were injured.

In an update to the original release sent on Saturday, the MFD indicated that a systematic demolition of the building had been conducted due to the extent of the damage, and no bodies were found. The fire was determined to have started in the basement, but the ignition source remains unknown.


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