Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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Le Mars fire update


Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper says the cause of the fire at 325 7th Street Southwest was accidental.

Investigators from the Fire-Rescue and Police Departments and the Iowa State Fire Marshal's office determined bedding was ignited by a space heater. The fire spread to a sofa and up through the ceiling into the roof burning a large hole in the roof. Both the garage and contents are considered a total loss.

Schipper reported the fire was in a garage owned by Gwen Berkenpas and rented by Joy Madsen. One of the two people sleeping in the garage was transferred to a Sioux City hospital. The other person was treated at Floyd Valley Hospital and is no longer a patient. Their names were not released.

Schipper reported fire fighters were cold and tired after attacking the fire with three hand lines and more than two-thousand gallons of water. Conditions included some slippery street and sidewalk surfaces. Schipper explained fire fighters were able to get water to the fire quickly because water hydrants had been cleared of snow.

Fire fighters were assisted by Le Mars Public Works, Campbell Electric and MidAmerican Energy.


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