ANKENY, Iowa – On Wednesday, investigators sifted through what was left of the Walnut Ridge Apartments in Ankeny after a fire broke out Tuesday afternoon.
According to the building’s property owner, 24 units were affected by the fire, and about 50 people are displaced.
Craig Fraser, the Division Chief Fire Marshall for the Ankeny Fire Department, believes the fire originated on a third-floor balcony by accident.
“There [are] no indications that it was intentionally set or anything like that, so that eases our investigation so that we know the causes wasn’t intentional. It was purely accidental,” said Chief Fraser.
Fraser says between the smoke and water damage; the building is a total loss.
“I think a sprinkler system because we put sprinklers on decks would have contained the fire and probably saved the building.”
However, while the cause of the fire is still under investigation, resident Hayden Reynolds says he moved into the building on August 1st of 2021, with a roommate. He says although he lost everything, he’s grateful that none of his neighbors were hurt.
“It could have been a lot worse, and I have to keep telling myself that,” says Reynolds.
“It’s only things until I believe it, but nobody was hurt.”
The Ankeny Service Center has set up a fundraiser page to assist residents from the apartment.