Rock Rapids, Sioux Center Fire Departments Make Quick Work Of Calls

Northwest Iowa — A couple of minor situations could have been big problems in two communities on Highway 75 recently, but thanks to quick thinking, they stayed minor.

The Rock Rapids Fire Department was called out on Friday afternoon, June 5, 2020.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 3:15 p.m., the firefighters were paged to the report of an oven fire at 903 South Tama Street.

The chief says the fire department arrived to find that the fire was not in the oven, but on the range top. He says it was an electric range with coil-type burners, and says the homeowner had it mostly taken care of when they got there. Reck says she had placed some pie tins over the burners and the fire had mostly been snuffed out. He says they unplugged the unit and poured a little water on it to make sure it was out.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to have been a malfunction or the ignition of buildup under a hot burner. Chief Reck reports that the damage was limited to the range.

He says they used some fans and ventilated the smoke out of the house, and they were only on the scene for about 20 minutes.
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Sioux Center firefighters were out for a similar amount of time, but on a different type of call on Saturday.

Fire Chief David Van Holland says they were called out a few minutes before 8 p.m. Saturday evening for what was called a “strong gas smell” at the Sioux Center Walmart.

He says Walmart workers called 911 when they smelled gas. Van Holland tells us that firefighters traced the leak to the roof of the store, got the gas turned off, and turned the scene over to the Sioux Center Municipal Utilities and a local plumbing contractor to make repairs.

Van Holland says with the wind blowing as strong as it was, any gas was quick to dissipate, so the risk was low.

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