DES MOINES, Iowa – Fire crews were called out early Wednesday morning to a house fire near Woodland Cemetery, west of downtown Des Moines in the Sherman Hill neighborhood.
The home in the 600 block of 18th Street, near the Pleasant Street intersection, caught fire just after 2:00 a.m. The four occupants of the home got out of the house in time before fire crews arrived.
Neighbors were reporting sounds of an explosion at the time the fire was called in according to the Des Moines Fire Department.
“But they did receive multiple calls on this one…just from what it sounds like the explosion drew the attention of the nearby residents and the phone calls started pouring in from the flames from the structure behind us,” said Ahman Douglass with the Des Moines Fire Department.
Crews were still on the scene of the fire as of 8:00 a.m. A DART bus is there to allow firefighters to warm up while battling the fire.
Douglass said fighting the blaze in below-freezing temperatures creates more challenges for firefighters.
“With it being below freezing temperatures, all this water that’s behind us when it stands still, it’s gonna turn into ice,” he said. “So that’s gonna create a different situation as far as safety goes and as far as movability goes. So there’s always the, the threat of cold exposure to our personnel that are gonna be out here for an extended amount. So once a person gets wet and these temperatures, our main concern is keeping them safe and keeping them warm. So, those are gonna pose some obstacles as well.”