Firefighter Injured in 9th Street Fire - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Firefighter Injured in 9th Street Fire

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Addie Olson


A Des Moines firefighter was injured Thursday evening while fighting an apartment complex fire on 9th Street near University Avenue.

It all started when a neighbor saw smoke coming out of the building just before 7:30 p.m.

"I was just walking by, coming back from the store and I smelled smoke on the way by," said neighbor Phil Horn. "All the sudden I saw smoke come out of the apartment complex there and I went and called 911."

Witnesses say the building is only partially occupied, and they thought the fire started in one of the vacant apartments.

They also believed there were only two men in the building who both made it out safely. One of them was taken to the hospital because he said he wasn't feeling well.

"He was fine for a while and then he just said, 'I don't feel so good.' I think it's probably the stress," said Greg Ross, a neighbor and friend of the tenant.

The fire department arrived just after 7:30 p.m. and crews were still working on getting it all put out even an hour later.

"It took them a while I think to find where the fire actually was because all we saw was smoke for the longest time until the firemen got inside and all of the sudden then we saw flames," Ross said. "I think it might have been in the wall."

It was a second alarm fire which means four engines and three ladders responded. The chief even had to call other metro cities on standby because they were so stressed for resources.

Officials have not said what started the fire.

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