Huge Fire Engulfs Urbandale Condominiums

URBANDALE Iowa  -- Firefighters from a dozen departments responded to a fire at a complex in Urbandale on Monday.

A massive fire broke out at the Plumwood Terrace Condominiums at approximately 3:30 p.m. Flames were shooting from the roof when firefighters arrived. They say it appears the fire started in the attic, but are still looking for the cause.

No one was injured in the fire, and a good samaritan is one reason why.

"Pulled into the parking lot and it was before the fire department arrived or the police department or anything, and people were starting to evacuate," said Brady Yeoman. "There was a lady with a little baby in her hands and I told her get in my car, you know, just to keep warm and stuff, and eventually more and more people started evacuating the building and I got as many people as I could in my truck."

Yeoman then drove them to the condominium clubhouse to keep warm.

Firefighters, though, didn't have that option. The extreme cold caused one fire hydrant to malfunction and several fire nozzles to break.

"The cold itself tends to slow the operation down just a little bit. We also have to make sure that we're rotating our personnel into a warm area as frequently as possible, while maintaining the fire fight," said Assistant Chief Scott Lyon of the Urbandale Fire Department.

Monday's fire was not the first at the condominiums. In July 2010, a propane grill started a blaze that destroyed the third floor and damaged the first and second.

Fire at the Plumwood Terrace condominiums (WHO-HD)