The Waukee Fire Department received a call of a fire at an apartment building, which was under construction, at about 5:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. The building, located at 422 Southeast Laurel Street, behind Central Bank, ultimately collapsed and is considered a total loss.
Waukee Fire Chief, Clint Robinson, said that the building was in the pretty early stages of construction, with drywall on the third and second floors, but no interior walls on the first floor. Robinson said that with the building under construction, they knew the building was going to collapse in “pretty short order,” and they decided to fight the fire from the outside and chose not to send any firefighters into the building.
“We actually just concentrated on making sure that none of the mobile homes or houses behind it started on fire,” Robinson said.
After the building collapsed, the Fire Department called in excavators to pull out some of the debris so the department could start putting out some of the hot spots.
Robinson said that no one was inside the building at the time of the fire and that no one was injured.
The cause of the fire is unknown and Robinson said that any evidence was likely destroyed in the fire and they will come down to interview the owners of the building and the contractors who were working on it.
While arson is always a possibility, Robinson stated that there is no evidence to suspect arson at this time.
Waukee Fire Department crews arrived on scene shortly after they received the call at 5:45 a.m. and some crews didn't arrive back at the station until 2:40 p.m.