By CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Yet another fire struck an Ottumwa home this weekend.
Firefighters responded to 1630 E. Locust St. at 2 a.m. Sunday to find the entire back side of the house ablaze.
The family of six and their pets were not in the home at the time, said homeowner Carol Brown, so thankfully there were no injuries. Brown said the house is a total loss and that all of the family's belongings were destroyed.
The Iowa State Fire Marshal's Office's accelerant detection dog helped firefighters investigate the scene Monday morning, though no cause of the fire has yet been determined.
"It's just to rule out [arson]," said Fire Chief Tony Miller of the department's decision to call in the so-called arson dog. "It may be suspicious, but we're doing an investigation this morning. There was extensive fire, smoke and water damage."
This marks Ottumwa's 30th structure fire so far this year. In all of 2012, the city saw 34 structure fires.
Less than a week ago, firefighters battled a structure fire at 318 N. McLean St.
If you would like to donate to the family's recovery, call 641-455-4175 or 641-799-3017.