(Ottumwa)— An early morning fire caused considerable damage to a house located south of Ottumwa off of highway 63.
The fire was reported to the Wapello County Rural Fire Department shortly after 6:30 Monday morning on Little Soap Road. When firemen arrived on the scene flames and smoke could be seen coming from the house.
Officials say it appears the fire may have started in a chimney. Firemen were hampered by extremely cold temperatures and a strong northwest wind.
The house was considered to be a total loss. The family is being assisted by the Southern Prairie Chapter of the American Red Cross in Ottumwa with housing, food and clothing.
Officials from the Red Cross in Ottumwa are inviting residents to an open house at the South Side fire station this Saturday from 9:00 until 12-noon. During the open house folks are invited to stop by to learn how the Red Cross works with the fire department during disasters such as fire.