Charles City, IA – One person is dead following an apartment building fire at 303 5th Avenue in Charles City on Monday afternoon.
The Charles City Fire Department was called to a report of a structure fire at 303 5th Avenue in Charles City at approximately 2:40pm and arrived on the scene 4 minutes later to find the front porch entryway fully engulfed in flames. The home is owned by Linda Brandt.
Firefighters noted that they started fighting the fire with a defensive attack until they learned a person was still inside the building. Crews then spread to the rear of the structure with an offensive attack.
Strong, gusty winds made the fire spread through the complex quickly. When most of the fire was knocked down, an interior search was started and inside the structure, 27 year old Joshua Nelson was found to have died inside one of the apartments.
Upon investigation and eyewitness accounts, it was found that a piece of furniture on the porch of the home was where the fire started. The home was heavily damaged by fire, smoke, and water. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but at this time is likely due to discarded smoking material.
The Charles City Fire Department remained on scene until 6:05PM, but has said they will continue to monitor the structure through the evening for any other possible flare-ups.
The American Red Cross has also arrived on scene to support the families affected. They will provide comfort and other immediate needs, which could include shelter, food, clothing, toiletries or prescriptions as necessary. Red Cross case workers will also work with the families over the coming days to determine if there are other ways the Red Cross may be of assistance.
The Charles City Fire Department was assisted by the Charles City Police Department, Floyd Fire Department, Colwell Fire Department, AMR Ambulance, Floyd County Search and Rescue, Floyd County Emergency Management, American Red Cross, MidAmerican Energy, and the Floyd County Medical Examiner’s Office.
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