by Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer –
MASON CITY – Thursday at about 5:15 pm, the Mason City Fire Department responded to a house fire at 1619 South Wilson Ave.
At the scene, Robby Shaver, a neighbor living just north of this location said, “I didn’t even notice it. Another neighbor came running up to me to let me know that flames were coming out of the house. I went in and had my father to call the Fire Department.”
“I saw the flames from the house,” said John Costillo, pointing to a home a block north, “I had to let somebody know.”
Fire Fighters were able to put the flames out quickly. A lot of heavy smoke filled the house and sky.
“I don’t know how it could have started,” said Shaver. “It’s an abandoned house. They were starting to fix it up, putting new windows in and taking care of the yard, but then the city condemned the house. Since then the yard work even stopped. I have noticed that some of the windows have been broken since then.”
“When I first came over, I noticed that the back door was opened a little. I don’t know if the fire would have opened it, or if someone’s been going in there,” said Costillo. “It wouldn’t take much for anyone to break in the house.”
No information as to the cause of the fire was available.