UPDATE: Cigarette, candle may have caused Dubuque apartment comp - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Cigarette, candle may have caused Dubuque apartment complex fire

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Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines said insurance investigators believe the apartment fire was caused by one of three things; a cigarette, candle or an electrical device.

Steines said the Dubuque Fire Department has ruled the cause of the fire accident. He said they determined it originated in the bedroom of a second-floor apartment.

Steines said it will be unclear when insurance agencies will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the fire. He said they are continuing to investigate through interviews.

Brittany Horkeheimer lives on the first floor of the apartment complex. She spent her day Friday continuing to move what she could salvage out of her apartment. She said

she doesn't have renters insurance for every item counts.

She said for the next couple of days her and her son will be staying at a local hotel. She said after that, she's not sure what they are going to do.

"I have no clue," said Horkeheimer.

Horkeheimer said she has no family or friends in the area that she would be able to stay with in the coming days. She said she's just thankful that she has her strong will, job and son to keep her going.

"I'm very worried. I'm strong minded and I have hope," she said.



Dubuque Assistant Fire Marshal Mike McMahon confirmed Thursday morning that two of the three people taken to the hospital after last night's fire have been released.

As for the fire itself, McMahon said the cause of the fire is still undetermined.

He did say that the fire started in a bedroom of an upstairs apartment at the Sheridan Village Apartment Complex.

He also said the damage to the building could have been much worse.

"Normally when a fire gets into the attic, you lose the whole structure," he said.  "But our team worked quickly to combat the fire, and even though we'll have to replace a large portion of the roof, most of the residences in this building should be inhabitable by the end of the day."

The majority of the damage, he said, is water damage from the water flowing down from the attic. Smoke damage was also very evident along the hallways in the building.

Officials said they believe four or five of the apartments will be out of commission for much longer. 

Jessica Frederick lives right below the apartment where the fire started. She said she could barely hear an alarm going off, but decided to investigate anyway.

"By the time I opened up the door, smoke had filled the hallway," she said. "So I grabbed everyone and got out of there."

The Red Cross provided her with a hotel room for the next two nights, and then she says she has a lot of support and places to stay after that.

Karen Langas, the building manager, spent most of the morning working with various agencies to start the long process of cleaning up.  She said most of the residents will be able to stop by in the next couple of days to pick up their belongings.



Three people have been taken to the hospital following a fire at an apartment complex in Dubuque on Wednesday night.

Crews were on the scene at the Sheridan Village Apartment Complex starting around 9 p.m. About an hour later, there was still heavy smoke coming from the top floor of the two-story building, but no visible flames.

Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines said three people were taken to the hospital. He said he believes two of those people were taken because of smoke inhalation concerns and one for a cut on the wrist.

Authorities are investigating and trying to figure out what caused the fire.


Brad Hanson contributed to this report.

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