Blaze guts second floor of FD home

The second floor of a home at 1107 Ave. B was gutted after a bedroom caught fire around noon on Friday, Fort Dodge Fire Department Capt. Steve Hergenreter said.

Brenda Krimmel, the building’s tenant, went home after hearing from her landlord that someone else’s vehicle was in her driveway.

While checking to see if anything was missing from her home, she smelled smoke upstairs.

“I smelled smoke and heard the thing beeping,” Krimmel said. “I thought that maybe the batteries were dead.”

When she went upstairs to check on the beeping, she saw smoke.

“As soon as I seen that door – that smoke – I went back down,” she said.

Then she called 911.

The fire was reported at 12:02 p.m.

Hergenreter said the second floor sustained heavy smoke and heat damage.

Assistant Fire Chief Doug Ostbloom, the city’s fire marshal, said the cause of the blaze remained undetermined late Friday afternoon. The investigation will continue, he said.

Krimmel said she was in the process of moving out, so she didn’t have many things upstairs.

When firefighters arrived, there was confusion about whether anyone was inside the building.

“A neighbor thought there were kids in there,” Hergenreter said.

Because of the confusion, firefighters were originally in a search-and-rescue mentality, Hergenreter said.

The bedroom on the second floor had zero visibility, Hergenreter said.

Krimmel said she hadn’t been at the house since Thursday evening.

Emergency units were on the scene until 4:15 p.m.