Fire damages Cedar Falls rental home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire damages Cedar Falls rental home

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Crews in Cedar Falls spent hours fighting a house fire Tuesday afternoon.

It happened at a rental home at the corner of W. 20th and Olive Streets. Fire officials believe the blaze began on the front porch.

"There was a lot of black smoke," said one bystander.

Two tenants were inside when they first noticed the smoke.

"They immediately grabbed the extinguisher, went out and looked, but it was too big for the extinguisher," said Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling. "So they called 911 and left the home, everything they were supposed to."

Both those tenants were sitting outside in a minivan as crews knocked down the flames. They escaped so quickly, they didn't even have time to grab shoes. No one was hurt.

Firefighters used chainsaws to reach hot spots, but the damage was extensive. Another issue-- getting water on it.

"The hydrant that the second engine tried to hook up to wasn't working," said Schilling. "It was frozen."

Crews ended up running hose a block away to another hydrant.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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