Kalona sees second and third structure fires of December

By Molly Roberts
Posted 12/23/20

The Kalona Volunteer Fire Department was called to another house fire on Wednesday, Dec. 16 and a garden shed fire early in the morning on Sunday, Dec. 20, making the second and third structure fires …

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Kalona sees second and third structure fires of December

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The Kalona Volunteer Fire Department was called to another house fire on Wednesday, Dec. 16 and a garden shed fire early in the morning on Sunday, Dec. 20, making the second and third structure fires the department has seen in the past two weeks.

“It’s been a little bit busier than normal for what we do,” fire chief Jerry Zahradnek said. “Everything kind of goes in spurts and cycles. We’re in our cycle where we’re kind of busy right now. Every time we get done with one [fire], we hope we go back to the other cycle where we’re not busy.”

The house fire on Dec. 16 was on Angle road near Frytown. The children returned home after early dismissal from school to find the house on fire. They immediately flagged down a neighbor, who called 911.

“The kids did a very good job of realizing there was something wrong when they got home and getting out of the house,” Zahradnek said. “They got out and then they stayed out, even with pets in the house. We were able to get a rabbit and two dogs safely out of the house when we got there.”

Zahradnek said the kids’ exemplary behavior shows that fire prevention programs and presentations in school can make a big difference when it comes to fire safety.

The origin of the Frytown fire is known but the cause is not. The blaze was possibly started by an undetermined electrical source.

Twelve Kalona firefighters answered the initial call on Dec. 16 and more showed up as time went on, as well.  The Kalona Fire Department was assisted in mutual aid by the Wellman, Riverside and Hills fire departments.

“It doesn’t take long, during the initial attack, for guys to get tired,” Zahradnek said. “When we do an interior attack and get tired, it’s good to know that you have 2-3 more crews coming behind you to back you up. With Riverside and Wellman coming for mutual aid, we always know that we have a second and third crew coming and, no matter where we go, they’re only seven miles behind us.”

The garden shed fire on Dec. 20 happened at 2:38 a.m. when a 12-by-16-foot garden shed caught fire.

No one was injured in either fire.

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