DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines firefighters were called out to a fire in the Southwestern Hills neighborhood Wednesday morning.
The call came in about the fire at a structure in the 3400 block of SW 31st Street around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Fire officials say they had the fire under control in about half an hour after arriving on the scene.
A neighbor noticed smoke coming from the garage on the property, which is attached to the home by a breezeway, and alerted the residents who all made it out safely. They told WHO 13’s Griffin Wright that the 78-year-old homeowner was carried out of the home by her grandaughter’s boyfriend.
The garage had been converted into a living space, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. It wasn’t clear how many people were staying there at the time.
Sgt. Parizek said it appears the fire started because of a wood-burning stove used to heat the structure.
Lt. Chris Clement with the Des Moines Fire Department said because of the extensive damage from the fire, the garage will likely need to be demolished.
The home sustained some minor smoke damage. There were some pets inside the home at the time of the fire but Lt. Clement said they haven’t been found yet and may be hiding.
Multiple fire engines were called to the scene and roads are blocked off in the area. Because of the water used, some of the side streets are slippery now with ice. Salt and sand are being brought in by the city to take care of the issue.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.