Fire shuts down parts of Duff Avenue on Sunday night


Photo: Aimee Burch/Iowa State Daily

Firefighters attempt to extinguish a house fire on the corner of Ninth Street and Duff Avenue. 

Frances Myers

Due to a housefire today at 821 Duff Ave., Duff Avenue will be closed tonight from Eighth to Ninth Street.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 3:49 p.m. to reports of a potential structure fire. Smoke was seen coming from the kitchen area and upstairs.

“Originally we didn’t know it was two separate apartments,” said Shawn Bayouth, deputy fire chief. “We conducted a search when we got here and found there were no people or animals in the house. It turns out the house is unoccupied and has been around a month.”

Bayouth said the house is an older structure, so when the fire began climbing up the walls and into the attic, the crews were pulled out and began fighting the fire through what is known as a “defensive fire attack.” An aerial ladder was brought in to spray water from the top and the firefighters began fighting the fire from the outside. Firefighters could be seen pulling siding off the house as they fought some of the fire that was behind the panels.

Due to the large amount of smoke, Bayouth said neighbors were instructed to stay inside.

“We told them to stay inside and keep windows closed,” Bayouth said. “The smoke should die down within the next couple of hours but we’ll have crews here until around 7 tomorrow morning just in case of a flare up. We’ll try to get an investigation started tomorrow morning if we decide it’s safe to let crews inside the house.”

Bayouth said the house was declared at a total loss.