Jack Raymond, of Iola, lost everything in a fire Tuesday, Aug. 31.
No one was home at the time of the fire, but a dog perished.
The call was received at 1:46 p.m. reporting an upstairs apartment fire at 120 Main Street in downtown Iola. The Iola & Rural Fire Department (IRFD) responded.
First on the scene was Fire Chief Charles Fritz. He admits the fire brought back memories of the Father’s Day Fire, which destroyed a large part of Iola’s business district in June 1999.
“In the back of my mind, I sized up the surrounding buildings in case the fire spread,” Fritz recalled.
In 1999, raging flames destroyed half of the west side of Main Street. This recent fire, on the east side, was reportedly under controlled within 10 minutes.
“The Father’s Day Fire was much larger in scale when we arrived, compared to this one,” Fritz stated.
“There was a lot of heat and smoke when we arrived,” he reported. “The attack crew got in and got the fire out right away. Then we applied ventilation with positive pressure.”
According to Fritz, the firefighters used a normal attack for this type of fire.
The IRFD had three fire trucks, an ambulance and 16 firefighters on the scene. The Scandinavia Fire Department provided a pumper.
The fire and smoke did not spread to adjoining apartments to other buildings, according to Fritz. “It was a back apartment, which helped,” he explained.
The second-story apartment is located above Fox Valley Monument.
Cause of the fire has not been determined.