WATERLOO – Officials continue to investigate a Sunday morning fire that sent three people to the hospital.
Firefighters carried two girls, ages 2 and 3, from the burning East Fourth Street home. They were taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and continue to undergo treatment, fire officials said.
Their uncle, who was also home but was outside the house when fire crews arrived, also remains hospitalized.
City Fire Marshal Chris Ferguson said the fire appears to have started in the living room, but the cause hasn’t been determined. Officials are still gathering information and plan to get the uncle’s account when he is well enough to talk.
Ferguson said the house had working smoke alarms in all of the bedrooms, but he doesn’t know if they had a role in alerting residents to summon the fire department.
“I think it was a lucky situation. The outcome would have been a lot different,” Ferguson said.
The heat and fire damage didn’t extend far past the living room, but the rest of the home suffered heavy smoke damage.
One firefighter also suffered a shoulder injury during the rescue and will likely be of work for a few weeks, said Fire Chief Pat Treloar.