Authorities are investigating the cause of a Friday night fire, that destroyed three livestock buildings in rural Linn County.


Emergency crews were called out just before 9:30pm Friday (July 23), on multiple reports of a structure fire at 750 Old School Road, northeast of Ely.

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The Linn County Sheriff, Linn County Sheriff's Rescue, Fire Departments from Ely, Lisbon, Mt. Vernon, Solon, Swisher, and Cedar Rapids responded, discovering that three livestock buildings on the property were on fire.

The buildings were destroyed, but no livestock or people were injured.

The origin of the blaze remains under investigation.

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The first half of 2021 saw a significant rise in the number of house fires in Iowa, according to the Nebraska-Iowa Region of the American Red Cross.

Chapter spokesman Josh Murray says the agency's volunteer responders were sent to nearly 300 disasters statewide during the first six months of the year and nearly all of them were house fires.

Between January 1st and June 30th, the Red Cross responded to 297 incidents in Iowa, with 95-percent of them being home fires, assisting a total of 1,281 individuals. While every house fire is different, Murray says one factor they all have in common is that they happened during the pandemic.

Murray says he's concerned about the increase in house fires overall and the boost in fires during the summer months.
When a Red Cross volunteer responds to a house fire in Iowa, they do a lot more than just wrap a blanket around the person who may've just lost everything they owned.
In many cases, the aid the Red Cross provides is not just over a few days, he says, rather weeks and even months.

The agency provides a range of assistance in times of disaster through the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
(Info from Radio Iowa)

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