Clarksville officials battle fire, power outages in bitter cold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Clarksville officials battle fire, power outages in bitter cold

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CLARKSVILLE (KWWL) - Emergency officials had a hard time putting out a fire north of Clarksville in Monday morning's brutal temperatures.

Crews were called to a home in the 14000 block of Royal Avenue around 8 a.m. and spent the next several hours on the scene, finally putting everything out around 12:45 p.m.

Fire crews aren't clear where the fire started, but they say it started near a wood burning stove. Three people were in the home, but all got out before fire crews arrived on scene. 

Rescuers on the scene say the sub-zero temperatures are less than ideal to work in. Temperatures Monday have been measured in the teens below zero, with wind chills at -30 to -40 degrees.

"This is probably the worst conditions you can have really," said Matt Behrends, Clarksville assistant fire chief. 

Firefighters worked in shifts to try and stay warm. Along with fighting the flames, the firefighters also battled freezing hoses.
Crews say the home appears to be a complete loss.

"Got hoses freezing up, trucks are freezing up. Stuff ain't running. Just kind of a tough situation," said Behrends. 

The Clarksville fire chief was not at the scene of the house fire, to attend to a power outage in the city of Clarksville.

Emergency Manager Mitch Nordmeyer said at mid-morning power had been returned to parts of the town, and MidAmerican Energy crews were confident power would be back to the whole town by noon.

But by noontime, that was not the case.  Nordmeyer says utility crews were not able to pinpoint the problem and the parts of town that had power restored were back without electricity.  Later, crews pinpointed the electrical problem to an open breaker, and restored power.

A warming shelter is at the Clarksville fire station for anyone impacted by the cold.

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