Dozens of Siouxlanders are left without a home just weeks before the holidays after a fire broke out at the Ida Apartments late Thursday night.
Sioux City Fire Rescue was called to a structure fire at the Ida Apartments located at 1901 Pierce Street. The fire was reported shortly before 9 p.m.
As of 11 p.m., the fire had not been contained and crews were still throwing heavy streams of water on flames coming from the roof and third-story windows.
"We had crews go in and try to they went up to the top floor to get into the attic space and try to make an initial attack," said Sioux City Fire Captain, Dustin Johnson. "The attic space was well involved at that point. So at that point, we withdrew all of our personnel after we made sure everybody was out of the apartment from top to bottom."
The building was evacuated and Sioux City Police and Sioux City Fire tell Siouxland News they believe all residents are out. Firefighters were able to do a thorough search of the building when they arrived on the scene.
Sioux City Transit buses were called in to help keep evacuated residents warm and out of the snow. Volunteers were setting up a church for the more than two dozen residents to stay for the night until more permanent housing could be arranged.
Two displaced residents tell Siouxland News that having this happen just before Christmas makes it hurt even more. "Now we ain't got no place to live. I lost everything in my apartment, all my Christmas gifts. I lost everything. Can't go get my money and stuff too," said Roy Wagner.
"I lost everything," said Richard Hull. "I'm talking about. I got like at least $10,000 worth of stuff up in there."
"I don't know at this point," Wagner said, "they're talking about having us live in a church for a little bit. But I have a medical dog and I just don't know what to do anymore.
Sioux City Fire Rescue says they won't be able to determine a cause until the fire is out and they will remain on the scene throughout the night until everything is extinguished. They don't know the extent of the fire damage to the entire building at this time but did say that the attic and third-floor apartments are heavily damaged.
"Some of the top floor apartments and that attic space are going to have heavy damage to it from the fire and also from the water," said Captain Johnson, "and so with the amount of gallons per minute that we're putting in this building right now we're gonna have a significant water damage."
Johnson said it could have been much worse had the residents not been able to evacuate quickly and safely. "The big thing I just want to stress to just make sure everybody has, especially this time of the year is to have working smoke alarms inside your apartment units or houses," he said. "If you need them. We can definitely come onto your house and install them it's free of charge. We just want to make sure everybody's safe."
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