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Salvation Army puts 60 families in hotels following Muscatine fire

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - Some Muscatine residents have found themselves out of a home due to a fire just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Who expected to wake up on a Sunday morning to a fire in your apartment complex?” asked Greg Bock, a member of the Salvation Army in Muscatine.

He says that members of the organization were called out of church to attend to the residents of Muscatine’s Tower Apartments after the fire started in a room on the seventh floor.

The fire caused the displacement of at least 85 people. Sixty of whom were able to receive temporary shelter through the Salvation Army’s help.

Everyone was safely evacuated from the building following the fire’s extermination. Most of the residents are staying in the AmericInn and Super 8 motels until damages are fixed.

“Thanksgiving is Thursday so we know a lot of people are displaced not just from their homes but away from other family,” Bock commented.

The Salvation Army’s policy allows them to pay for the first five days of someone’s stay following a disaster. They say they are not sure if that is enough time for residents to get back into their homes.

Along with providing shelter, the organization says they will be providing Thanksgiving meals to residents of the building.

Muscatine firefighters say there is water damage throughout the building due to the sprinkler system that was in place. “The issue the company is working with right now is to get everything dried out,” said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hartman when asked about the complex’s damages.

If it were not for the sprinklers, Hartman says the damage would have been a lot worse. “I’m certain we’d have one fatality as well as a much larger fire,” he said.

The investigation is still ongoing but the outcome is expected to be an accidental fire. One person was injured during the incident.

The fire department and the Salvation Army both say there is not a time frame yet to when the damages will be fixed. They ask people to keep residents in their thoughts and prayers as the holidays soon approach.

If you would like to donate to the displaced families, you can call the Salvation Army at 563-263-8272.

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