UPDATE: Early Morning Fire Does 'Considerable' Damage to Cedar Rapids Home
After catching fire for the third time in two months, a vacant Cedar Rapids home will soon be torn down.
Cedar Rapids firefighters responded to a fire on the corner of 16th Avenue SW and L Street at 2:44 a.m. Thursday after a 911 caller reported seeing flames coming from the house.
Firefighters arrived to find flames on the back porch and inside in the kitchen. Crews were able to quickly put out the fire and began searching for possible victims, according to a release from Battalion Chief David Brown.
The fire is the third at the home since October. On October 15th, crews quickly put out a fire that originated in the living room of the home. On October 27th, firefighters responded to a fire involving the detached garage.
The cause of all three fires is undetermined, but since the home is vacant, firefighters say a human element is likely involved.
The city says the home has been placarded as an unsafe property since June of 2014 but but many of the code violations are tied up in court proceedings and have not been fixed. After the latest fire, the owner signed an "intent to demolish", which will speed up the process to tear down the home and garage.
The early morning fire did "considerable" damage to the structure, firefighters said. Investigators were still working to determine how it started as of 6:30 a.m.