Iowa City apartment residents awoken by Monday fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City apartment residents awoken by Monday fire

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - It's not the wake-up call anyone at an Iowa City apartment complex expected -- firefighters at their door, telling them to get out.

"I was freaked out, yeah," said Gengxin Shi, who lives in the building at 614 E Jefferson St."Wake up, the first thing you see is this giant metal and those suits."

The fire was on the second flood of the building. Firefighters say it happened in a stairwell, so there's not much damage to units. But the smell of smoke remains in the air.

"I really don't think there was much damage in my apartment, but yeah, smoke is pretty heavy," said Shi.

Residents  we talked to say many people who live there are international students at the University of Iowa. Being so far from home, they're turning to the American Red Cross for help.

A shelter was already open due to ongoing flooding in Johnson County and is now helping the fire victims.

"They're trying to get their life back together because they're a little bit smoky," said Dick Kubit, American Red Cross volunteer.

Most students say they're planning to stay with friends until they can get back in to their apartments. The building is now reopened to residents, but we're told it still smells like smoke.

Two people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and KWWL talked to one who she said both she and her roommate -- who was also taken to the hospital -- are doing well.
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