MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) – Some Muscatine residents fled a house due to a fire just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Who expected to wake up to a fire in your apartment complex on a Sunday morning?” Asked Greg Bock, a Salvation Army member in Muscatine.
He says members of the organization were called from church to attend to residents of Muscatine’s Tower Apartments after the fire broke out in a room on the seventh floor.
The fire caused the displacement of at least 85 people. Sixty of them were temporarily housed with the help of the Salvation Army.
After the fire was destroyed, everyone could be safely evacuated from the building. Most of the residents stay in the AmericInn and Super 8 motels until the damage has been repaired.
“Thanksgiving is Thursday, so we know that a lot of people are being evicted not only from their homes, but also from other families,” commented Bock.
The Salvation Army’s policy allows them to pay for the first five days of a person’s stay after a disaster. They say they are not sure if this is enough time for residents to return to their homes.
In addition to providing shelter, the organization provides Thanksgiving meals to the residents of the building.
The Muscatine Fire Department said there was water damage throughout the property from the sprinkler system. “The problem the company is currently working with is drying everything up,” said Deputy Fire Chief Mike Hartman when asked about the damage to the complex.
Without the sprinklers, the damage would have been much worse, according to Hartman. “I’m sure we would have a death as well as a much bigger fire,” he said.
The investigation is still ongoing, but it is expected to be an accidental fire. One person was injured in the incident.
Both the fire department and the Salvation Army say there is still no time frame for when the damage will be repaired. They ask people to keep the residents in thoughts and prayers when the vacation is coming soon.
If you would like to donate to the displaced families, you can call the Salvation Army at 563-263-8272.
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