A fire earlier this week in Mason City is blamed on a gas stove. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Christiansen says a rear burner was somehow turned on and ignited wood paneling and insulation in the walls and ceiling, damaging the house that contained four apartments. The fire started in the attic apartment occupied by Cody Springer.

“How that stove knob got turned on or moved into that position, we’re not certain,” Christiansen said. “He claims he wasn’t cooking, he could have bumped it, there were animals in the apartment…I don’t know exactly what caused it – only that we found it was an accidental fire.”

Springer told investigators that the fire woke him up early Tuesday morning. He remains at University Hospitals in Iowa City where he’s being treated for burns on his back and blisters on his feet and left hand.

Christiansen credits Springer for alerting the rest of the people in the building and making sure they escaped. No one else was injured. Two cats in Springer’s apartment also got out safely. Doctors say Springer should be released from the hospital next week.