Family escapes burning West Des Moines home thanks to a passerby who saw the flames

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A West Des Moines family escaped their burning home early Wednesday morning after fire officials say a passerby pounded on their door to wake them.

The 911 call about a fire at 2121 Prospect Avenue came in to dispatchers at 6:06 a.m., according to West Des Moines Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell. Someone walking by could see the flames coming from the back side of the home and ran to the front door, pounding on it to alert the residents inside.

“Here we were it was dark out, a few minutes after 6:00 in the morning. Family inside sleeping, two adults, a younger child. We’re very fortunate that we had somebody walking by that discovered this, got the occupants up by knocking on the front door very loudly, and getting them outside,” said Whitsell.

When fire crews arrived, they found the back side of the home engulfed by flames and the fire was beginning to work its way inside.

“The good thing is we have three occupants who had no idea that this fire was going, that made it out safely, no injuries, and we’re trying to figure out what started the fire,” Whitsell said.

There was significant damage to the back of the home, which backs up to Fairmeadows Elementary School. But because firefighters were able to get the flames under control quickly most of the damage inside was limited to smoke and heat damage.

 Whitsell said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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