IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two people were hospitalized after an early morning apartment fire.
Iowa City Fire Department Capt. Tina Humston said firefighters were called to 614 E. Jefferson St. at 5:09 a.m. Monday. Humston said tenants were attempting to flee the 3-story building as firefighters got on the scene.
“We arrived to find several people hanging out of windows,” Humston said.
Firefighters rescued seven people and the Johnson County Ambulance Service provided treatment to 15 people, Humston said. Two people were taken to the hospital to receive treatment for smoke inhalation.
Among those rescued by firefighters was 21-year-old Andrea Li, a University of Iowa student from China. Li said she was asleep when she was awoken by alarms. Initially thinking the alarm was coming from somewhere else, Li said she then smelled smoke.
Li said she woke up her roommate and they tried to exit through the front door, only to discover the hallway was full of smoke.
“The smoke made me feel sick,” Li said.
Li said she and her roommate then tried to exit through their second floor window and were assisted by a firefighter.
Humston said five crews responded to the fire, which required a callback of all off-duty personnel. The fire was contained to its second floor point of origin and knocked down by 5:23 a.m., Humston said. The entire building was cleared by 5:36 a.m.
The fire still is under investigation. Humston said she didn't know if investigators were treating the blaze as suspicious.