OVERNIGHT FIRE: Police Call Fire Suspicious

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Fire investigators are working to determine what caused an Altoona fire Sunday night.

Crews were called to the home on 34th Avenue around 11:30 p.m. after an Altoona police officer noticed flames while driving by.

Firefighters from Altoona, Mitchellville, Pleasant Hill and Bondurant responded and were able to get the fire under control quickly.

While the fire is still under investigation, firefighters say it appears to have started in a bedroom in the northwest corner of the home.

No one was home at the time of the fire, and no firefighters were injured.

Police and fire officials say the fire is suspicious, but say that is not necessarily cause for concern.

They say it just means they need to investigate further.  They plan to do that Monday morning.

Instead of calling in the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Altoona Police and Fire will work together to investigate.

Altoona Police Detective Jason Ferguson says, “Police Department and Fire Department jointly work these investigations.  We’ve been trained in fire investigation.  We’re lucky to have that type of qualified personnel on both sides with the Fire Department and Police Department.  If we need the assistance of the State Fire Marshal’s office we’ll definitely call them in if we need to.  We’ll assess that in the morning when it’s light and we can see a little better with what is going on.”

Detective Ferguson says the fire was contained to one room, but the damage to the home is extensive because of smoke and water damage.

He says they’ll have a better idea of the damage when they can get into the house and take a look around.