- Associated Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three people died Thursday from injuries received in a Des Moines apartment fire, the city’s fire chief said.

The Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/2r0TXOZ ) reported that the blaze broke out Thursday afternoon at the Eddy Apartments, about two miles west of downtown Des Moines.

Fire Chief John TeKippe confirmed late Thursday afternoon that three people had died. One person died on the scene and two others died later at a hospital.

TeKippe said a firefighter suffering from smoke inhalation was also transported to a hospital. The firefighter was in stable condition Thursday evening.

Police had initially reported that three people were critically injured in the fire. Two others were also reported to have been injured and hospitalized. Officials have not released the names of those killed or hurt.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire they say started on the top floor of the four-story building.

Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said those first on the scene saw flames roaring from the fourth floor.

Officials said more than 50 firefighters helped evacuate the building and put out the blaze. Fire Capt. Mark Dooley said some firefighters rushed into the building to extinguish the flames and rescue occupants while others put ladders up to fourth-floor windows and participated in rescues.

“They behaved very heroically,” Dooley said.

About 10 people were rescued from the building by firefighters, he said, while others escaped on their own. More than 60 people live in the building and are now displaced.

Polk County Emergency Management officials and the American Red Cross were helping victims and those displaced by the fire.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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