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MCFD: House fire likely started by heating equipment for reptile enclosure

MASON CITY – The Mason City Fire Department said today that the likely cause of a Thursday house fire was heating equipment for a reptile enclosure igniting nearby combustible materials.

The Mason City Fire Department responded to a house fire at 121 23rd Street SW Thursday afternoon at 4:10 PM.  The fire was reported by a passer-by who noticed smoke and flames through the windows at the front of the residence, owned by Cindy Mostrom of Mason City.  The occupants, Barry and Jean Yamagata, were not home at the time.

Firefighters gained entry to the home and removed the family dog which was safely restrained by Mason City police officers.  A pet reptile was also safely removed from the home.

The home sustained significant damage to the entire first floor, roof and attic.  Firefighters were on the scene about four hours.

Jean Yamagata was at what was left of her home Friday afternoon, picking up the pieces, waiting for Barry and her son to arrive with a trailer to help take away what could be saved.  She and Barry had stayed the night in a hotel. They were renting the home.

“We are devastated, but we are moving on,” Jean said.  She said she felt especially bad for the owner, Cindy Mostrom, whom Jean said was a good friend.

Jean confirmed that their dog, Angel was fine but had some smoke inhalation.  One of their two reptiles did not make it.


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