Residents relocated after fire destroys group home in Guttenburg

Residents of Guttenberg look to help out after the fire caused significant damage earlier this week.
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST
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GUTTENBERG, Iowa (KCRG) - After spending several hours putting out a fire at Imagine the Possibilities care facility, Fire Chief Joe Zittergruen says they’re still investigating how it started. Right now, they don’t suspect foul play.

“We’re really not able to determine, as with most fires because of the extent of damage, determine the exact cause of the fire. We can’t determine that it was, or show that it was, accidental in nature. That doesn’t seem to be any kind of issues with whether it was set intentionally,” Zittergruen said.

No one was injured, but the fire left five people who are living with intellectual disabilities without their homes.

Jeff Morris, the chief administrative officer for Imagine The Possibilities, said that the staff has made sure everyone has a place to stay.

“Those five individuals are currently being housed this weekend, today, and tomorrow at our administrative location in Guttenberg,” Morris said. “We’ve got facilities in that building that allow for, you know, full-use bathrooms, full kitchens, that kind of thing. With the staffing coming in, it’s an environment that the folks are familiar with.”

Morris said that they’re focused on rebuilding so their residents can continue to receive the care they need.

“We’ve already secured housing for them moving forward in a technically temporary way,” Morris said. “Although, you know, you talk about replacing, we assume that we believe that the that the physical building is a total loss. So we’re looking at a full rebuild.”