The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation of a suspicious fire Monday morning at a Glenwood apartment complex.
The blaze caused extensive damage to one unit of the former Chief Motel and forced the evacuation of the other 10 units in the one-level, L-shaped structure.
“It started in the kitchen area of Unit 10,” Glenwood Fire Chief Butch Fidler said. “All I can say at this time is that it’s suspicious in nature.”
Glenwood firefighters responded to the fire around 10:30 a.m. after a person walked into the fire station and reported seeing smoke coming from the building.
Fidler said most of the damage was contained to the apartment unit where the fire started and there were no injuries as a result of the blaze.
Eleven residents of the building were forced to evacuate the building for the remainder of the day after utilities were shut off. They will not be allowed back into their apartments until the fire marshal inspection has been completed.
Wes and Shirley Ring, owners of the apartments, were housing several of the displaced residents at their Bluff View Motel on Monday night. Shirley Ring said she was surprised to learn that the Red Cross was only offering assistance to the occupant of the apartment that sustained actual fire damage.
“The Red Cross said they’re only responsible for the person that caused the fire, which surprised me because these other people have no place to live right now,” Ring said. “We’re not going to let them stay in a cold apartment with no power. We’re putting them up at the (Bluff View) motel. My hope is that we’ll be able to let them get back by Christmas.”