An Oelwein couple and their three children lost their home and possessions in an early morning house fire Saturday in the city’s southwest quadrant. Brooke Clark and Austin Neuhaus were awakened at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday to smoke in the home they shared at 544 8th St. SW.
A fire that appears to have started in the double attached garage was burning into their kitchen and living room area as they raced their kids out of the house while calling 911.
Brooke said the smoke woke Austin up, who had been up with his daughter in the night and was on the couch.
“I smelled the smoke and then it was coming into the house. I got everyone up and out,” Austin said. “I just moved in last weekend, so a lot of my things were in the garage, not unpacked yet.”
The couple’s vehicles were parked in the driveway and they were able to move them a safe distance away before the fire damaged them.
Firefighters remained on the scene through the morning putting out flare ups and cooling the timbers down.
Brooke said the house is a total loss and she is not sure what possessions if any can be salvaged. Severe smoke and water damage is all through what is left standing of her home and a “danger” sign is posted on the window, meaning there is dangerous structural damage, as well.
The cause of the fire has not determined.
The couple is staying with family in the area for now. The Daily Register will give an update on how others can help them, as donation information becomes available.