14 people displaced by Cedar Rapids apartment fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

14 people displaced by Cedar Rapids apartment fire

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - A group of Cedar Rapids residents watched their home burn Tuesday night.

Fire officials say twelve adults and two children were displaced when a two-alarm fire caused significant damage to three of six townhouses at Gateway Gardens, 3131 6th Street SW. Neighbors and vehicles traveling on U.S. Interstate 380 reported fire and smoke descending from the roof of the six-unit complex. The first 911 call was received at 6:03 p.m. and several neighbors worked quickly to notify occupants of the dwelling that the structure was on fire by knocking on each unit's door. There were four adults inside four separate units at the time of the fire. All of them were able to escape without injury.

Upon the first fire crew's arrival, there was fire ascending through the ridge vent between two cupolas near the center of the structure's roof. The fire quickly spread from near the center of the complex towards the east end of the structure along the roof line. Firefighters ensured that there were no occupants still inside the complex and then worked their way into Unit #3 and breached the ceiling to access the attic. Firefighters found a swirling ball of fire within the attic space that extended all the way from the center of the structure to the east. Fire crews used a hose line to push the fire back towards the east, and prevented major damage to Units 1-3 on the west side of the structure. Units 4-6 on the east side of the structure already had fire consuming the roof, and the roof on that side collapsed within 10 minutes of the fire department's arrival. Six fire engines, two ladder trucks and a rescue vehicle responded to the incident.

Each unit in the townhouse has two floors and three bedrooms. There was some minor water damage to Units 1 and 2 on the second floor, and some fire and water damage to the second floor ceiling in Unit 3. Units 4-6 sustained significant heat, fire and smoke damage on the second floor primarily due to the roof collapsing.

Those inside the structure at the time of fire included Charles Knight, age 32, Megan Junge, age 22, Luke Grier, age 27, and Adria Hardesty, age 41. Eight adults and two children were not home when the fire occurred. The American Red Cross was on scene to assist the displaced residents. After overhaul was completed, firefighters worked with each resident to retrieve valuables prior to securing the structure.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Online Producer: Maria Magner

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