City streets around the structure were barricaded and closed as firefighters fought the fire. Two air conditioned capitol city buses served as an on-the-street refuge when residents were evacuated from their apartments, then they were bused to a shelter. Officials say all residents are safe and accounted for. The building suffered some structural damage. No word yet on the cause for the fire.
Once the fire was out, firefighters escorted residents back to units that were safe to enter, so they could get personal items. Officials say 44 apartment residents are in a temporary shelter at a Des Moines school.
The apartment building is located in what’s called the Court Avenue Entertainment District in Des Moines. A pizza restaurant is located at street level in the six-story building and it is “closed until further notice” due to the fire. The twitter account for Fong’s Pizza thanked fire responders for their work and is promising free pizza to the fire station once they reopen.