Fire marshal says residents helped save others in apartment fire

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Burlington apartment building damaged by fire 1-1-14 (WQAD Photo)

Two occupants reportedly tried to alert other tenants when fire broke out early New Year’s Day in the basement of an apartment building in Burlington, Iowa.

In an update issued Friday, January 3, 2014, Burlington Fire Marshal Mark Crooks said ten people were in a six-unit apartment building at 1115 Vine Street when fire broke out in the basement just after 3 a.m.  Wednesday, January 1.

“Two of the occupants are credited with trying to alert the other tenants about the fire,” Crooks said.

Six of the occupants got out unassisted.  The other four had to be rescued by police and firefighters.

The four rescued occupants, plus two firefighters, were reportedly injured.  The residents and one firefighter were taken to a local hospital, and the other injured firefighter was treated at the fire scene.

Firefighters battled bitter cold, smoke and flames to rescue trapped residents and put out the fire.

The building, valued at $60,000, was considered a total loss.  The Red Cross was providing help for the residents who lost their homes.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.