PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Multiple fire departments were called out early Thursday morning to battle the flames at a Pleasant Hill apartment building and firefighters had to rescue a trapped resident from their third-floor balcony.
Fire crews were called out to the Peterson Place Apartments at 770 North Pleasant Hill Blvd. around 1:30 a.m. According to Pleasant Hill Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Hill when they arrived heavy flames were seen coming from the third floor of the complex.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire mainly to the west side of the building.
Resident Montae Love told Channel 13’s Whitney Blakemore the fire started while he was cooking.
“I go to drop my food in, I look up, there some little flames spurting above the microwave so I try to go and put it out…grab just a little bit of air motion, spread it across the ceiling and the ceiling just kind of blew up and just started blowing with smoke and everything. My instant reaction was just grab my son, try to alert [others] and get out of there as quickly as possible,” Love said.
Hill said initial fire crews on scene also believed it was a cooking fire that started it. One person did have to be rescued from the third floor.
“We had an occupant who kind of sheltered in place on the third-floor balcony. Once the ladder was in place they evacuated the person onto a ladder platform and then brought them to the ground safely,” Asst. Fire Chief Hill said.
Officials say all the other residents made it out safely, but there were some pets that did not make it out.
The building has 24 apartments and all of the residents are currently displaced. Polk County Emergency Management is on scene to assist those people. Also, the Hy-Vee next door opened their doors to their Market Grille to let those displaced sit during the morning.
Fire crews are remaining on scene to monitor hot spots.
Emergency crews from Johnston, Bondurant, Delaware Township, Carlisle, Ankeny, Mitchellville, Saylor Township, Mercy Medical, and Pleasant Hill all responded to the scene.