On October 9th at 11:56pm the Le Mars Fire-Rescue Department was called to an apartment building on fire at 1070 7th Ave SE. The building is owned by Fred and Pete Zenk of Le Mars. Upon arrival firefighters encountered heavy fire on the south exterior side of the building. The fire was burning on the second and third floor exterior decks of the building and into the attic and roof. There are six apartments in this section of the 18-unit building. Firefighters made a quick knockdown on the exterior of the building and then made entry into the building. At the same time police officers and sheriff’s deputies were evacuating the residents of the apartments. Firefighters put out fire in two apartments and the attic of the building. An aerial ladder truck was used to reach the roof to put out the fire in the roof area as well. All occupants were able to get out of the building and four cats were located by firefighters and were also fine. Firefighters were on scene for around two hours fighting this fire and investigating.
The origin for this fire was determined to be located on a deck on the south side of the apartment building. The cause for this fire was determined to be accidental. The most probable cause for this fire was determined to be improperly discarded smoking materials that ignited nearby combustibles. The fire spread up the side of the building and into the attic and roof. Three of the six apartments had fire, water, and smoke damage and are uninhabitable. These individuals were assisted by family, friends, and/or the American Red Cross with a place to stay. All other apartments were able to be lived in. Damage is estimated at $100,000.00.
The Le Mars Fire-Rescue Department was assisted at the scene by the Le Mars Police, Plymouth County Sheriff, Mid-American Energy, Orange City Fire Department, and the American Red Cross.