Ceiling fan sparks third Waterloo house fire over night - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ceiling fan sparks third Waterloo house fire over night

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An area fire department had a busy night, responding to three separate fires. Waterloo firefighters were called to three residential fires over night, something crews say is very unusual.

Fire crews were first called to the 1100 block of Franklin Street for a house fire around 8:00 last night.  It appears the fire started in the attic. 

The second fire was at a home at 1135 Flammang Drive. Waterloo firefighters say this was a cooking fire. The grease fire caused some smoke damage, but was contained to the kitchen.

The third fire happened at 2043 Independence Avenue around 3:50 in the morning.  This fire also started in the attic, firefighters believe the cause of the fire was electrical. The home has a lot of smoke damage and it is estimated the fire caused around $20,000 worth of damage. 

Out of the three homes that caught fire, crews say the third one was left with the most damage. A elderly mother and her son, Ricky Brunson, live in the home, they say the fire started in the ceiling fan above the mother's bed.

The homeowner is in her eighties and early this morning, she sat outside her home and watched fire crews tackle the electrical fire.

"We got a big chair, sat her down right at the end of the driveway and she watched the whole thing," said Brunson, Waterloo.

Brunson and his friend Robby first noticed the garage lost power, but they weren't worried.

"I said, 'well, we can't do anything about it now...we will just deal with that in the morning'," said Brunson. "Well the fan above my mom's bed shorted out and that of course melted and started the fire."

The garage lost power and a strange smell foreshadowed what would happen next.

"My mom said she smelled something like vinegar when we were messing with the garage and I said, 'mom we will have to look at it in the morning'," said Brunson. "I had no clue that it was that fan right above her head."

Brunson tried to put the fire out himself, but had to call firefighters for help.

"I got my mom up and the pets out of there and I told Robby to get a hose up there and we were doing all that," said Brunson. "It looked to me that the whole thing was gonna come down, because at that point it just looked really bad."

Today the family started taking some belongings out of the home. Brunson says he is happy everyone is okay.

"It could have been a lot worse, she lived here alone last year, if this would have happened then I imagine it would have been real worse," said Brunson.

Brunson says the house started to smolder again after the fire department left, he says he and his friend put it out with a garden hose.

For now, Brunson and his mother are staying with family, eventually they will move back into the house after some clean up.

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