Update: Possible explosion starts house fire in Independence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: Possible explosion starts house fire in Independence


Crews spent nearly six hours on the scene at a house fire in Independence.

The call came around 2:30 Thursday afternoon to the 200 block of 3rd Avenue on the southwest side of town. Crews were only about a minute away from the fire, but the home was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.

No one was hurt in the blaze. Shortly before the fire, two people were in the home refinishing floors. Officials say they left to run errands because of the fumes from the refinishing process and were not there when the fire broke out.

Neighbors saw smoke and called the fire in. Some say the fire may have been caused by an explosion. Officials confirm there was an explosion, but it is not clear if the blast came before or after the fire started.

Crews fought high winds as well as the fire. Neighboring garages were soaked with water to prevent embers from catching roofs on fire. Crews also monitored neighboring homes. A backhoe was used to knock down the house to allow crews to treat hot spots.

Fire crews from Independence were assisted by Jesup Fire and teams from the mental health institute. An ambulance crew and area police departments also assisted.

Insurance investigators will be on site Friday to try to find a cause of the fire. The home is a total loss.

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