Man escapes Dayton house fire with dog

DAYTON – An early morning fire destroyed a home at 208 Fourth Ave. N.W. in Dayton Friday, but the occupant and his dog were uninjured.

Earl Hanson, Dayton Fire Department equipment officer, said the blaze was reported about 4:15 a.m. Crews arriving on scene found the home fully engulfed, he said.

Firefighters from Lehigh were called to assist.

Daniel Troutvine, who lives in the home with his dog, managed to escape before fire crews arrived.

The house is owned by Butch Rudshagen, who lives a few doors away.

“I looked out and there were flames 8 feet out and all the way up,” Rudshagen said.

He’s sure the 1 1/2-story home is a complete loss, he said. Some of the walls were burned down to charred studs and an upper room was leaning in toward the center of the building Friday morning. A large section of roof also collapsed.

According the Webster County assessor’s office, the building was constructed in 1890.

Rudshagen said he was glad his tenant got out safely, but the loss of the building will still be felt.

“It’s the first month of my retirement,” he said. “That was part of my retirement fund.”

Hanson said the cause of the fire is yet to be determined. The state fire marshal’s office has be asked to investigate.

Dayton Fire closed Third Street N.W., which is part of Iowa Highway 175, to traffic during the fire. The road was reopened about 7:30 a.m.

Crews remained on the scene throughout most of the morning. The Webster County Sheriff’s Department, the Dayton Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol assisted at the scene.