News

Fire guts Washington house Monday night

GTNS photo by David Hotle

Washington firefighters were called Tuesday to a house at 423 W. Madison Street in Washington that had been extinguished the previous night. At about 4:20 a.m. the house had reportedly rekindled.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Washington firefighters were called Tuesday to a house at 423 W. Madison Street in Washington that had been extinguished the previous night. At about 4:20 a.m. the house had reportedly rekindled.

Washington firefighters returned this morning, Tuesday, March 19, to battle a fire that had rekindled in a house after being extinguished the previous evening.

According to the Washington County call log, at about 6:20 p.m. multiple callers reported flames coming from the inside of a residence at 423 W. Madison Street in Washington. Washington Fire Department, Washington Police Department, Washington County Ambulance, Ainsworth Fire Department, the Iowa Department of Transportation and Alliant Energy all responded. Washington Fire Chief Tom Wide said the fire had started in the kitchen area of the house but no cause has been determined yet. No one was home at the time of the blaze, but four dogs were reported inside. The dogs were removed from the building with no injury. The fire was extinguished.

“It’s occupied but no one was home at the time,” Wide said.

This morning at about 4:38 a.m. a Washington Police officer reported the house had visible flames coming from it. The Washington Fire Department and Washington County Ambulance responded. The fire was extinguished, but Wide believes at this point the house is a total loss. He said it had received extensive damage Monday evening, and feels at this point it cannot be salvaged.

“Apparently the fire was still in one of the walls,” he said. “The guys thought we had it, but there must have been a hot spot in there somewhere.”

He said the steel roof on the house made firefighting difficult, as part of the roof had to be removed before the fire could be addressed. He said the roof was also slick and icy, which added to the difficulty. Wide said Alliant Engery had responded and helped the department with the use of a couple of bucket trucks to take some of the steel off the roof.

Wide also commented he would be in contact with the State Fire Marshal’s office sometime today.