A neighbor's burning barrel is to blame for the loss of a house and an outbuilding in rural Pella, near Lake Red Rock, which caught fire around 11:30 Thursday morning.
The home, owned by Steven Ross, is not always occupied, and no one was there when the fire broke out. The fire claimed the two-story house, as well as the neighbor's garage.
"A burn barrel started," Pella Rural Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom said. He added that he has been trying educate the public about the dangers of burning in dry conditions. Anytime someone starts a fire in a burning barrel, they should remain nearby to ensure that it does not get out of control.
Responding agencies included Pella Rural Fire Department, Pella Ambulance, Knoxville Township Fire Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office and Marion County Emergency Management. Neighbors, and Ulrich's Meat Market, also contributed food and beverages to the first responders on scene.