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WDM Firefighters Face Challenges Battling House Fire, Investigation Underway

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Fire investigators in West Des Moines say it will likely be a while before they learn what sparked a fire at home over the weekend.

On Sunday, firefighters were continued to put out hot spots at a home in the 2400 block of Ridgeview Drive. This was the first time investigators had a chance to survey the damage from Saturday night's fire, and officials say the home is a total loss.

"Once we start getting to the areas we need to focus on, then we have to start digging down, and that's what takes a long time. It's tedious work, it's dirty work, but it's necessary work," says West Des Moines Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell.

The massive two-alarm fire caused a major challenge for firefighters. Whitsell says crews had trouble gaining entrance into the home due to an "extensive amount of homeowner belongings."

Another possible challenge was spared by Mother Nature; wet conditions and low winds helped the fire from spreading to nearby homes and trees. Whitsell says the fire damage could have been much worse.

Neighbors who witnessed the house go up in flames say they are heartbroken for the homeowner. The Red Cross is not assisting in the case. The homeowner made it out safely with her four dogs.