Fire breaks out on South Fifth Street, displaces 100 people

By Katherine Klingseis, katherine.klingseis@iowastatedaily.com

A fire broke out early Sunday morning, July 15, at South Meadow Apartments, 301 S. Fifth St., displacing approximately 100 people living in 56 units. Susan Gwiasda, public relations officer for the city of Ames, said no one was injured or killed in the fire, but “there’s going to be significant loss.”

Gwiasda said the fire likely began in a garage, which is located beneath the apartments, in the southeast corner of the H-shaped apartment complex.

Fifty-six units were evacuated, with an estimated 100 people displaced, Gwiasda said. The Boys and Girls Club across the street from the complex was set up to be a Red Cross location for those who were displaced.

The fire had been contained by 9 a.m. Sunday morning, but the firefighters would likely be on-scene all day to watch for hot spots, Gwiasda said.

Gwiasda said South Fifth Street will be closed until Monday, July 16 and people should avoid driving near the area because of the smoke and haze.

No. 3 Blue South CyRide route will be rerouted Sunday due to the fire, according to CyRide’s Facebook page. The bus will not travel on South Duff Avenue, South Fifth Street or South Walnut Avenue. You can catch the bus on South Third Street, Walnut Avenue or South Fourth Street.

Residents of nearby apartment complexes also experienced the effects of the fire. Krista Nielsen, senior in English, who lives in the apartment complex next to the complex that caught on fire, said she woke up to the smell of smoke.

“I looked out my bedroom window and saw fire,” Nielsen said. “I thought, ‘Step one, don’t panic; step two, don’t panic; step three, get out.”

Aleem Syed, graduate student in chemistry, who also lives near the apartment complex that caught on fire, was awoken by a call from his apartment manager telling him to get out of the building.

“Weird to start your morning like this,” Syed said.

Check back at iowastatedaily.com for more information as this story develops.

(Posted originally on Iowastatedaily.com on July 15, 2012)

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