Council Bluffs firefighters continue to monitor a fire that destroyed a home on Fifth Avenue early today.
The Council Bluffs Fire Department was called to 2659 Fifth Ave. around 1 a.m., where they found a home fully engulfed in flames, Assistant Chief Matt Thomas said.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze after arriving, but have been unable to enter the structure because the dwelling has deteriorated “to the point where it's unsafe to enter,” Thomas said. Crews cut holes in the roof to ventilate the fire.
The department remains on the scene, with crews controlling the fire while investigators try to determine a cause. Thomas said the home was vacant, with utilities cut off. Pottawattamie County records list Susan K. Graves Kennedy as the owner.
The fire caused damage to the house next door, melting vinyl siding, Thomas said. That neighbor alerted authorities when he saw flames out his window. The assistant chief put the damage to the second house at a few thousand dollars.
The home at 2659 Fifth Ave. is a total loss.
Temperatures hovering around zero degrees made battling the fire difficult, Thomas said, though there were no problems with equipment or hoses freezing. The house, though, is a sheet of ice, while one ladder hit by hose spray was frozen as well.
An investigation into the cause of the fire continues.