One person was found dead when crews responded to a fire at an apartment building on Des Moines’ south side Thursday.
Firefighters were called to 2200 Stanton around 11:25 a.m. on a fire.
Residents say they heard the fire alarms before they ever saw smoke or flames.
“I walked over to my door that leads to the hall, and opened the door and saw all the smoke so I immediately shut the door ran out to the patio and called 911,” says apartment resident Marcy Scott of Des Moines.
As residents fled the building, they could see where the smoke and fire was coming from.
“I went out in my back sliding door and came around this corner right here, just a tremendous about of flames and smoke coming out of apartment two,” says apartment resident Don Loffredo.
Fire crews say there was a lot of heavy smoke inside the unit, but they were able to trace and contain the fire to the back bedroom.
Firefighters say they found the tenant, 65-year-old David Robinson dead inside his living room.
The investigation is being turned over to Des Moines Police who have ordered an autopsy to determine if Robinson died as a result of the fire or due to another cause.
However, officials say it’s rare for someone to die during a daytime fire.
“Very unusual, especially this time of day, normally our fires are in the middle of the night where we have fatalities this was in the middle of day,” says Capt. Steve Brown with Des Moines Fire and Rescue.
Residents say no matter what happened it’s sad that someone in their building passed away.
“It’s very sad, yah especially when it’s someone you’ve talked to,” says Scott.
Des Moines police and the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office are working to determine the cause of death. Police say the fire does not appear to be suspicious.
The Red Cross is assisting the residents of about five apartments who are displaced because of smoke damage.