The Fort Dodge Fire Dept. has released a statement regarding the Thursday morning fire. The statement says that the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Fire Dept. statement say they were dispatched around 5:15 AM to the fire at a four unit apartment building. The address was on North 16th Ave. just off of North 31 St. near the Fort Dodge Middle School( We reported North 31st originally, as Rob Jones didn’t have an address when he went out he had an area and drove until he found the scene which was off of North 31st, but officially the address given by the Fire Dept was North 16th Ave.).
The Fire Dept. says the fire was contained to one unit at that address and that one unit suffered heavy fire and smoke damage. The units suffered smoke damage. The Fire Dept. searched for occupants but none were found in the building, they all escaped on their own. An occupant of the building suffered smoke inhalation and lacerations was in front of the building.The injured occupant was transported to Unity Point Fort Dodge. A family pet did die in the incident, all 9 occupants are displaced and being assisted by the Red Cross.
Area residents reported an explosion early Thursday morning. Initial speculation was that meth lab blew up and caused the explosion, however the FDPD doesn’t believe that was the case.
A statement in response to questions about the incident came from Captain Ryan Gruenberg. The statement said “we don’t believe it was caused by a meth lab. It was initially reported that a meth lab may have been the source, but it does not appear to be the case at this time”.
The Fort Dodge PD did make an arrest while on the scene. The statement says 22 year old, Gabriel Cunningham of Fort Dodge, was arrested for Interference With Official Acts and Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia. The statement says, Cunningham was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries that were unrelated to the fire.