OTLEY, Iowa – Three people safely escaped an early morning house fire in Otley.
The fire happened around 3:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Terrance Drive.
According to Pella Fire Capt. Randy Bogaard, the homeowner was woken up by his smoke detector.
“He and his two children got out safely. By the time they got out, flames were visible,” Bogaard said.
The fire started in the corner of the garage and quickly spread inside the house.
“It spreads very quickly. A lot of that is because the material today, furnishings, floor coverings, all that type of stuff; a lot of that is man-made. You don’t have as many natural materials that used to be in the past, so they catch quicker and they burn faster,” Bogaard said.
Neighbor Rick Johnson said the fire shook up the Park Hills development community.
“It was definitely a rude awakening at 3:30 this morning to know that your neighbors' house is on fire. That’s not something you want for them and not something you want to have happen to anybody,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he is thankful the owner's smoke detector was working when the fire broke out.
"It’s definitely on my wife’s mind of making sure that everything is good to go so that if something does happen to us that we are safe,” Johnson said.
Bogaard said people can see if their smoke detector is functioning properly by removing the base and checking the expiration date.
“Make sure you’ve got fresh batteries in them ... This time it quite possibly saved their lives, so take it seriously when they go off,” Bogaard said.
Scraps are all that remain inside the garage. Bogaard said some personal belongings can be saved inside, but the building itself is a total loss.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.