The Muscatine Fire Department responded to the Harrison Lofts Apartments Tuesday morning for a fire in the kitchen area of a third-floor apartment. No injuries were reported and three dogs were rescued but residents were evacuated as a precaution during the investigation.
The Muscatine Joint Communications Center (MUSCOM) received a call of an automatic alarm for water flow of the sprinkler system at Harrison Lofts apartments, 1716 Bandag Drive, at approximately 9:38 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. While fire crews were enroute to the scene, MUSCOM advised that an individual on scene had called to report smoke in the hallway of the third floor. The alarm response was upgraded to a structure fire response at that time.
Upon arrival the source of the fire was found to be in a third-floor apartment, but maintenance staff had utilized fire extinguishers to put the fire out. Fire department crews began evacuating the third floor, checked to make sure the fire was all the way out, and began to mitigate water from the sprinkler activation in the apartment that was empty at the time of the fire.
The fire activated one sprinkler head and contained the fire to the area of the stove and the cabinets above the stove. The sprinkler was successful in keeping the fire from spreading either up or out beyond the immediate area. Smoke damage was limited to the kitchen area with some light smoke in the rest of the apartment.
Muscatine Fire officials stated that without the sprinkler activation it is likely that the fire would have spread throughout the apartment and into the attic space prior to any notification outside of the apartment.
Three dogs were rescued from the apartment. There were no injuries to any civilian or emergency responders. Several individuals are temporarily displaced.
Fire department crews remained on scene until 11:00 a.m. assisting with water mitigation. Fire investigators were on scene for an additional hour. The initial cause is accidental in nature. Direct fire damage is estimated at $5,000, and water damage is estimated at an additional $20,000. A damage mitigation crew was on scene prior to completion of the fire investigation.
The Muscatine Police Department and the Animal Control Officer responded to help with evacuation and ensure the safety of the pets from the apartment. The Muscatine Fire Department had 15 staff members who responded to the scene.
The Muscatine County Emergency Manager responded as well to assist with relocation efforts along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army of Muscatine County, Iowa.
About the Muscatine Fire Department:
The Muscatine Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services, rescues (high angle, rope, water, etc.), building inspections, and public education for the City of Muscatine, and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Muscatine County with a combined population of 43,000 across 145 square miles while also providing HAZMAT for Muscatine, Louisa, Washington, Keokuk, and Henry counties. MFD firefighters and paramedics responded to over 5,700 calls in 2023. The Muscatine Fire Department began as a volunteer fire company on January 7, 1875 and was established as a full-time department in January 1916.