House fire causes $50,000 in damage, no injuries reported

The average cost for most fires in 2019 was just over $6,000.

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(The Daily Iowan/file)

Clinton Garlock, News Reporter


The Iowa City Fire Department responded to a residential house fire in an east-side neighborhood on Oct. 25 that ended up causing $50,000 worth of damage. No injuries have been reported. 

According to a press release from the Iowa City Fire Department Battalion Chief Zach Hickman, the fire began on an exterior wall and grew to the garage and attic, where it was contained by firefighters less than 30 minutes after the fire was initially reported. 

The Iowa City Fire Marshal is currently investigating the cause of the fire. 

“Once we find the seat or the origin of the fire we look for anything that [could have caused it], whether it was electrical or operating equipment,” Hickman said.

The fire department responded to the initial call within 5 minutes of notification, the release said.

In the case of an arson, the investigators look for anything that might be “out of the ordinary” and then the Fire Marshal, who is also a certified police officer, coordinates with the police department and their investigators.

“There’s nothing that’s leading us to believe that this is an intentional fire,” Hickman said. 

Hickman said the occupants of the home were also the owners of the house, and that homeowner’s insurance typically would cover this sort of damage. 

According to internal data from Hickman, the fire department responded to 7,430 calls and 154 fires in 2019, which was their busiest year in history. While these fires caused an estimated $2 million worth of property damage, the fire department saved an estimated $61 million in property.

However, half of the $2 million in fire damage came from one single fire at a property that was under development on 314 S. Clinton St, which sustained $1,025,000 in damage and loss. 

The other 153 fires in 2019 caused an average of $6,372 in damage each, which is one-eighth of the amount of damage Sunday’s fire caused.

Hickman said there can be a lot of variance between fires, but since the ICFD is a career department, as long as they get early notification, they can respond quickly to any fire call.

“[The fire] started on the exterior, and with vinyl siding, and exterior fire looks really bad and can spread really fast,” Hickman said.

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