Dubuque Co. Family Faces Homelessness After Fire

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Wiedemann

DURANGO, Iowa — Investigators are still trying to piece together what started a house fire in Dubuque County. The fire destroyed the home, leaving a family of seven people homeless.

Firefighters started battling the blaze at 1428 Burtons Furnace Road, just before 6:30 Monday evening. Investigators think the fire started in an attached garage, then moved into the house. No one was injured in the fire.

While assessing the damage with her insurance agent, Karen relived what she said was the worst night of her life. “My girls came down and said there was smoke in the room. So I went upstairs and smoke was coming out of the heat vent.” Her boyfriend and five daughters escaped the smoky home, then watched it burn to the ground.

“A man stopped and saw I didn’t have any shoes on, so he gave me a pair of shoes, “ said Karen.

Situated in a flood plane, the fire is not this family’s first disaster. “Our home has flooded three times. The first time wasn’t bad. The second two times were bad. $90,000 worth of damage to the house,” Kennedy said.

Across town, at Kennedy Elementary School, the children’s classmates are eager to help the family. “I think they felt better just knowing something was being done. But it’s pretty cool to see kids take that upon themselves to initiate that conversation,” said Kennedy Elementary School Principal T.J. Potts.

The remnants of a happy home still stand tall around the rubble. But it’s the support from the community that’s towering above it all.

Karen said her 5 daughters wear the following clothing sizes:
-8 year old, size 8
-6 year old, size 6x
-5 year old, 5 T
-2-year old twins, 3T/4T

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