Oskaloosa Fire Department Battles Afternoon Blaze

Oskaloosa Firefighter Shane Glandon doused the structure with water one last time Thursday evening. (photo by Ginger Allsup)

University Park, Iowa – With what has turned into a seemingly common occurrence around Oskaloosa lately, the sound of sirens could once again be heard as the Oskaloosa Fire Department was called into action to battle yet another fire.

This time a home located in University Park along Peniel St. became the focus as flames crawled out from a second story window and up the exterior of the home. Two off duty New Sharon firefighters were at the Caseys store on the edge of University Park and rushed to the scene to help when they heard the call over the radio.

“You either get it, and you get it knocked down quick, or you lose the thing,” Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff says of the precise work firefighters did in quickly controlling the flames. Neff said that when the first engine arrived, “they had fire showing out of that upstairs window.”

“We had New Sharon Fire come down because of the heat,” Neff said of the five additional personnel that arrived to help, in addition to the two New Sharon firefighters who had been on the scene from the early stages and had helped to string water lines out. “They helped a lot.”

As of 5:45 pm, no cause of the fire had been determined and the investigation was ongoing.

Mahaska County Chief Deputy Trevor Wells was on scene approximately five minutes before the fire department arrived. “It had a pretty good flame going when I got here.”

At those early stages of the fire, Wells reported that the family had all escaped the home and were gathered on the East side of the home on the sidewalk.

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