OTTUMWA – The Ottumwa Fire Department had a busy Monday night shift.
The biggest fire was at a downtown restaurant. During that fire, another structure fire call came in (see accompanying story).
But the three fires in a row began at 8 p.m.
The firefighters said they were dispatched to Wabash Avenue, where a pair of sisters resided. A small appliance caused an electrical fire.
Fire Chief Tony Miller said the south-side station firetrucks arrived quickly.
“The fire must have been burning for a long time; the beams were black,” he said.
Though extinguished quickly, the house suffered heat damage as well as smoke and water damage.
“It’s got some issues,” said Miller. “The health department placarded it.”
But the incident should serve as a reminder for other homeowners.
“They had three smoke detectors. None of them were working,” said Miller. “If it had been later in the evening, with no working smoke detectors, there could have been a tragedy.”