Monticello man loses everything in fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Monticello man loses everything in fire

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A fire forces an eastern Iowa man from his home of 40 years.

The fire happened Saturday night on North Chestnut Street in Monticello.

Homeowner, Al Hughes is a semi truck driver. He says he travels for weeks on end, but when he was home this weekend, he lit his wood stove to warm the house.

Neighbors started seeing heavy smoke before the fire sparked. 

"I don't know how long it was, a couple hours or so," said Hughes. "Something just didn't seem right...I didn't really smell smoke, but something was just a little off."

After lighting the stove, Hughes says he saw something odd.

"There must have been a spark coming out of the chimney," said Hughes. "It started in between the roof and the ceiling and I peaked up there and saw it was red and it just ran down."

Hughes then helplessly watched his home of 40 years burn.

"I was here for quiet a while and the fire department was here," said Hughes. "I saw they weren't gonna do anything, there was nothing they could do, so I just left...I didn't want to see it, it was too bad. Once it broke out it looked like somebody was throwing gas on it up there...when it went, it really went."

Hughes says once he realized his house was on fire he didn't get a chance to grab anything, he just ran out.

"My two daughter's graduation photos, that's what I wanted, those were the two things I wanted the most out of there," said Hughes. "My first thought was those two pictures and they are good."

Hughes is thankful he and the photos survived this devastating fire.

Hughes says he did not have insurance and does not plan on trying to rebuild. For now he says he will be staying in his semi truck.

The homeowner is hopeful someone will eventually buy and restore the historic 1800's home.

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