Winter weather hinders firefighters' efforts in rural Linn County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Winter weather hinders firefighters' efforts in rural Linn County

by Brady Smith

LINN COUNTY (KWWL) - What used to be a home sits as just a pile of rubble, after a fire broke out Tuesday morning. It happened at 317 Burlingham Road just northwest of Anamosa around 11:30.

The two-story building had been lived in by one man, according to a neighbor, who said it was vacant at the time.

The Anamosa Fire Department and two other agencies responded, but had a tough time fighting the blaze. By the time they reached the isolated farm house, it was fully engulfed and there was nothing they could do. They had to drive 10 miles of unplowed gravel roads to get to the building.

The neighbor living across the road called 911, after a person driving by told him about the flames. Even with help from Prarieburg, Central City and a half-dozen fire rigs, Assistant Chief Chuck Barnes says it was simply too late.

"It was what we call in this business a 'surround and drown.' There was nothing we could do, and it was too far-gone for our guys to make entry," said Barnes. All they could do was prevent it from spreading to nearby buildings.

The windchills also hindered their efforts. "Our guys were freezing up, and their airpacks were freezing up."

An investigator is expected to look into the cause of the fire. Anamosa's fire department does not believe any foul play was involved.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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