Quick actions alert couple to house fire in Muscatine

Yessica and Ruth Ortega meet with the occupants of a home of Fairhaven St. that caught fire in the early-morning hours of Feb. 20. The sisters are credited with saving the occupants lives. Submitted photo

Thanks to the quick actions of two sisters, a couple and their dog escaped injury in a Feb. 20 fire on Fairhaven Street, the Muscatine Fire Department reports.

The call went out about 4:12 a.m. Thursday for a roof on fire at 2914 Fairhaven St., discovered by some passersby.

Police on scene were able to force the door and were met by the occupants. Dispatchers had called the residents and alerted them at the same time of the police arrival. Fire crews were on scene soon after, as several units were returning from a medical call. Both occupants and their dog were able to escape without injury.

Upon arrival flames were found on the roof near the chimney. Fire attack was initiated and the main body of fire was extinguished within about 10 minutes. However, due to the scorching of blown in insulation in the attic areas crews remained on scene for several hours after to ensure the fire was completely out. The attic and roof will likely need to be replaced, so the initial damage is estimated at $30,000.

There were no injuries to any occupants or responders. An estimated 18 fire fighters – including off duty staff – responded. This also includes an automatic mutual aid assistance from the Fruitland Fire Department. The Muscatine Police Department provided support with initial response and traffic control. The Red Cross was called to the scene to provide assistance to the fire victims.

The daughter of the home’s occupants said the passersby, two young sisters, saved her parents lives.

“If you know these two wonderful girls please tell them how amazing they are. These wonderful sisters are Yessica and Ruth Ortega. If you see them give them a hug or a hand shake and let them now they are angels,” wrote Melissa Howell Wilson.