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UPDATED: Mason City house suffers severe damage after fire; “improperly discarded smoking material” caused blaze

MASON CITY – A house burned in Mason City late Sunday night and was severely damaged.

A fire was reported before midnight at 22 North Jefferson Avenue. NIT is told Opportunity Village clients lived in the house, and everyone made it out safely.

A bystander told NIT “house is gone!”

Apparently, a neighbor helped some of the occupants escape the house.

“Person across the street saved their lives,” NIT was told by a person at the scene.

The house is owned by Russ Hardy.

Mason City police said early Monday morning “On March 19, 2017 at 11:13 PM, the Mason City Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to 22 North Jefferson for a house fire. The house was occupied by clients of Opportunity Village. A neighbor had stepped outside and noticed a fire burning at the front of the residence. He then ran to the house and alerted the residents and assisted getting them outside and to safety. Several of the clients and the neighbor were taken to Mercy ER and treated for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation. ”

Mason City Fire Department also released information Monday morning:

The Mason City Fire Department responded to a house fire at 22 N. Jefferson. The time of the call was 11:17 pm on 3/19/2017. Fire Department was advised all 4 residents were out of the building shortly before we arrived on scene.  The east exterior of the building contained the heaviest fire damage.  The fire started on the porch of the building. Fire traveled into the building through two windows that broke from the heat of fire and through the front door.  Fire then traveled up the stairwell to the second floor.

Mason City Fire Department arrived on scene in less than 4 minutes and performed a defensive extinguishment on the outside of the building to knock down the fire and then performed an interior search of 3 floors and extinguishment of interior fire.  The fire was extinguished in short order and salvage and overhaul then took place.  

Toyon Hamilton saw the fire from his residence across the street and notified occupants of 22 N. Jefferson of the fire and assisted residents out of the building.  The outcome could have been different without his actions in notifying the residents and assisting them out of the building.  

Alliant Energy assisted at the scene securing power and gas.

The cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking material.

Picture sent to NIT
Picture sent to NIT

UPDATE from NIT reader:

“My wife was coming home from work last night and snapped this photo of that fire on the corner of Jefferson and 1st When she rolled up on the scene there was no police or fire truck there yet. She actually called 911 as the neighbor was getting the occupants out.”

The neighbor who helped rescue the occupants is Toyon Hamilton, NIT is told.

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