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Pole building destroyed in Wapello blaze

Pole building destroyed in Wapello blaze

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Smoke from a burning building could be seen for Miles Tuesday as Wapello Fire and Rescue were called to a structure fire. 

WAPELLO — For the second time in a week, Wapello Fire and Rescue were sent to extinguish a blaze that was burning through a building in the fire district.

According to a press release, the department was called at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, to reports of a structure fire at 13121 40th St. in rural Wapello. Morning Sun Fire Department was automatically dispatched for mutual aid due to the nature of the call. Oakville Fire Department was called to assist in maintaining a water supply.

Firefighters in route reported seeing heavy smoke from more than five miles away. Mediapolis Fire Department was notified but were canceled after firefighters arrived at the scene. The firefighters found a pole building fully engulfed in flames. The building was located about 400 feet from the nearest road in an area along a bluff that was inaccessible to fire apparatus because of the steep, narrow and icy conditions of the driveway.

Crews were forced to drag hoses up the hill to fight the fire, which was fueled by a large amount of chemicals and wood stored in the building.

According to reports, the building was used as a workshop. The fire was quickly knocked down and firefighters were able to enter the building to perform overhaul operations.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Paul Wilmeismeier was not at the residence at the time of the fire. The structure and contents were a total loss. An estimated cost of the damage is not available. The property was insured.

No firefighters were injured during the incident and no damage was reported to adjacent structures. A total of 20 firefighters responded. Also assisting were: Wapello Community Ambulance, Wapello Police Department, Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, and Eastern Iowa Light and Power.


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