NORWOODVILLE, Iowa -- On Monday firefighters struggled to get water pressure from a nearby fire hydrant as a home burned to the ground in Norwoodville.
The Delaware Township Fire Department had to move to hydrants further away in order to fill up tanker trucks and then make their attack.
Des Moines water works now says the initial fire hydrant they tapped into used a smaller water main, and because of that they didn't have enough pressure to effectively fight the fire. Delaware Township fire chief Evan Kellis says they had no way to know, as the hydrant was marked as “500 gallons/minute or less”, the lowest designation.
Kellis says they were getting 85 gallons/minute from the hydrant. He says at an absolute minimum they needed 125/minute to run their smaller hoses. Kellis says it's too speculative to say whether a bigger main would have stopped the house from burning down.
“It's hard to say whether we would have been able to save the house, we definitely would have been able to make a more effective fire attack and likely would have been able to save more property” he said.
With the fire still smoldering on Tuesday, the recovery begins. Neighbors say they can’t imagine what the family is going through.
“It's so close to Christmas I couldn't imagine if I had kids of my own I couldn't imagine losing a home this close to the holidays” said Callen Jahnke.
There has been a GoFundMe page set up for the family.