No injuries were sustained after a shed caught fire Monday behind a house on the 800 block of East Seventh Street North, but the blaze did cause overwhelming damages to the structure itself.
Arriving to the scene at around 3:33 p.m., the Newton Fire Department firefighters eventually extinguished the flames with water hoses and sifted through the burnt debris for any sign of what might have caused the fire.
However, the extensive building damages made finding a direct a cause for the fire rather difficult for the Newton fire squad. The owner or owners of the shed were not home by the time crews responded to the scene, firefighters confirmed.
The shed, Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik said, was “totally destroyed.”
Wellik added the shed appeared to be used to house animals, potentially cats, rather than utilities or tools.
Neighbor Blythe Iversen said she was mowing her lawn when she noticed smoke and a small flame coming from the side of the building. As the flames grew, she said she dialed 911 to report the fire. Iversen noted she had regularly seen cats around the sheds.
“It went really quick after that,” Iversen said. “I hear cats back there a lot of times, so I don’t know if there were any in there (during the fire). Like I said, it went quick.”
Later in the afternoon the Jasper County Animal Rescue League and Humane Society arrived at the home. A representative of the nonprofit said at least 15 cats were surrendered to the agency to be sent to its Newton-based facility.
Chain link and wooden fences blocking the blaze forced the Newton firefighters to cut a hole in the barriers to access the shed.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org