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Hiawatha Fire Displaces 9 People
HIAWATHA, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -After nearly 15 hours of work, Hiawatha firefighters rested Wednesday night. They spent the day battling and then investigating a massive mobile home fire at the Tower Terrace Mobile Home Park. By the end of the day, firefighters still did not have a cause for the fire. They said that tests and interviews needed to be conducted before they determined the cause.
For many in the park the wakeup call just after 2:00 in the morning was unwelcome.
I just kept hearing sirens and more sirens and I woke up my husband, resident Teri Creamer said.
Smoke clouds billowing in the distance made for an ominous back drop for Henry Creamer as he left his home to check out where all the noise was coming from.
My heart went out to the people that were involved cause I knew it wasnt good what had happened, Henry said.
For Hiawatha Fire Chief, Mike Nesslage, the fire stands out even in his nearly three decades of experience as a firefighter.
I have never been to a trailer fire like this before, Nesslage said.
For Teri and Henry watching the flames and looking at the damage was personal. They said the fire hurt their family. One of the home owners is a lady the Creamers said is the type of person that would give the shirt off of her back to anyone. Shes a woman they regularly clear snow for and mow her lawn.
Its extremely traumatic, my heart goes out to these people, and its just a sad situation, Teri said amid tears.
Nine people, including five children could have lost more than their homes and their possessions.
If their smoke detectors had not worked, wed be dealing with fire fatalities this evening, Nesslage said.
It was a victory for firefighters who dedicated so much of their time for a good outcome. Most of those firefighters were volunteers.
They had to do their thing from 2:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. this morning and then turn around and go back into work today. Nesslage said it is a real testament to the Hiawatha firefighter family and their dedication.
Neighbors in Tower Terrace were a second family coming together for those affected by the fire.
When they do start collecting money, were going to donate to it, Henry said.
While the caution tape blew surrounding the fire damage Wednesday night, Henrys declaration helped prove there was still a sense of security in a neighborhood where folks had lost so much.
We do for each other, just like a family, Teri said. On Wednesday night firefighters said they were not yet ready to release the names of the victims.