BREAKING: Ames residents temporarily displaced due to fire


The Ames Fire Department at the scene of the fire at 3415 Emerald Drive. (Photo courtesy of the City of Ames)

Katherine Kealey, Editor in Chief

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 10:53 a.m. Thursday.

Two residents safely evacuated a fire in a one-story rental home in Ames Wednesday afternoon, yet due to the damage, they will be temporarily displaced. 

Deputy Fire Chief Tom Hackett told the Daily the fire started due to heat in the exhaust venting for the wood-burning fireplace. The department is still investigating what caused the heat to transfer into the structure. 

When the Ames Fire Department responded to 3415 Emerald Dr. at 12:50 p.m., a light smoke came from the garage, according to a press release from the city of Ames. 

The crew discovered the flames were located in the ceiling above the fireplace. All three fire stations report to structure fires in Ames, with 16 fire personnel reporting to the scene.

The fire started in the attic, so the smoke detectors did not sound. Instead, the occupants smelled smoke and left the house. Immediately after, they called the department and were able to exit safely, stated Fire Chief Rich Higgins in the press release.

The firefighters extinguished the fire and ventilated the structure. The house lost electricity and sustained moderate fire damage to the ceiling. Because the fire was in the attic, the fire department had to pull some of the ceiling down to access the fire resulting in drywall damage. Hackett said between the fire and the damage caused by accessing the fire, wiring in the house was compromised.

Red Cross was notified and is assisting the occupants, according to the press release. 

Hackett said the occupants had renters insurance to help cover the damage to personal property.

“Especially to college students renting for the first time, I would recommend that everyone seek out renters insurance policies, which are fairly inexpensive,” Hackett said. “Which covers a lot of personal effects and incidents that might happen within an apartment that the apartment owners insurance might not cover.”