IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Fire Destroys Waukee Home; Occupant and Dog Unharmed
A single-story home at the corner of Eighth Street and Cherry Avenue was rocked by an explosion Tuesday morning. Neighbors reported feeling the blast two blocks away.
The smell of burning wood still hung heavy in the air Tuesday afternoon after an explosion rocked a single-story home at the corner of Eighth Street and Cherry Avenue in Waukee.
Fire crews were called to the house at 775 Cherry Ave. around 8:20 Tuesday morning after several neighbors called 911 to report the explosion.
Barbara Brandes, who lives across the way at 530 Eighth St., said she and some of her family members in town for daughter Sarah's graduation from Waukee High School, were just starting to come around for the day when they heard a loud noise and the house began to shake.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "There was just this loud 'whoosh' and it shook the whole house. I think it must have lifted the house (the site of the explosion) off the foundation."
According to Waukee Fire Chief Clint Robinson, the explosion occurred in the basement of the home. Investigators were still searching for the cause Tuesday afternoon.
Extensive damage to the once tidy-looking single-story home was evident Tuesday afternoon as the front door and porch of the home had separated at the roof and leaned precariously toward the street.
Blown out windows heaved glass and debris across the street and into neighbors' yards. Personal items like a vacuum cleaner, a volleyball and a coffee cup spilled out from what might have been a living room window. The house is a total loss, said Robinson.
According to the Dallas County Assessor's website, the home is owned by Shirley Petty. In an interview with KCCI, Robinson said police officers broke down the door and carried a woman inside to safety. The woman refused medical attention. It's unknown whether Petty was the woman carried from the home. Neighbors say the woman who lived there was disabled.
A small black Scottish terrier, Maddie, was also rescued from the fire, according to the Des Moines Register. The dog was not seriously hurt.
Police arrived first in response to the 911 calls, the Register reported, and carried the only person inside, a woman, out of the smoke-filled house. By the time fire crews arrived four minutes later, flames engulfed the home, Robinson said.
"They unquestionably saved the lady's life," he told the newspaper.
The woman's husband had already left for work, the Register said.
Brandes said with the home's proximity to Waukee Elementary School and the time of morning the explosion occurred, it's a wonder no one else was hurt.
"There were so many mixed blessings this morning," she said. "Kids walk by here on their way to school and with people getting off to work and such - it could have been so much worse."