Salvation Army puts 60 families in hotels after Muscatine fire

MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) – Some Muscatine residents have been left out of their homes due to a fire just days before the Thanksgiving vacation.

“Who expected to wake up on a Sunday morning to a fire in your apartment complex?” Asked Greg Bock, member of the Salvation Army in Muscatine.

He says members of the organization were called out of the church to care for residents of Muscatine’s Tower apartments after a fire broke out in a room on the seventh floor.

The fire caused the displacement of at least 85 people. Sixty of them were able to benefit from temporary shelter thanks to the help of the Salvation Army.

Everyone was safely evacuated from the building following the fire extermination. Most residents stay at the AmericInn and Super 8 motels until the damage is repaired.

“Thanksgiving is Thursday, so we know a lot of people are being displaced not only from their homes, but away from other families,” Bock commented.

Salvation Army policy allows them to pay for the first five days of a person’s stay following a disaster. They say they’re not sure it’s enough time for residents to return home.

In addition to providing shelter, the organization says it will provide Thanksgiving meals to residents of the building.

Muscatine firefighters say there is water damage throughout the building due to the sprinkler system that was in place. “The problem the company is working with right now is drying everything out,” Deputy Fire Chief Mike Hartman said when asked about the damage to the complex.

If it hadn’t been for the sprinklers, Hartman says the damage would have been much worse. “I’m sure we would have one death as well as a much bigger fire,” he said.

The investigation is still ongoing, but the result is expected to be an accidental fire. One person was injured in the incident.

The fire department and the Salvation Army both say there is no deadline to repair the damage yet. They ask people to keep residents in their thoughts and prayers as the holidays approach.

If you would like to donate to displaced families, you can call the Salvation Army at 563-263-8272.

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