A March 2 house fire at 813 North Fourth street left two people homeless, according to West Branch authorities. West Branch Fire Chief Kevin Stoolman said a call about 12:30 a.m. led first responders to a house full of smoke.
“They heard a popping noise and smoke was rolling out,” the chief said.
Firefighters determined the cause was an electrical panel short. Stoolman said the panel was so badly burned that they could not tell if it was a fusebox or breaker box.
Smoke damage filled the home and fire damage affected the floor/ceiling between the two levels as Stoolman said firefighters had to cut a large hole in the living rom floor to extinguish the fire. There was also extensive wiring damage.
Both Solon and West Liberty fire departments responded to the scene to provide mutual aid and firefighters were on the scene for about four hours.
West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan said Aaron Francis Huffman rented the home from Andy Ashell of Indianola. Stoolman said neither Huffman nor his roommate were injured. Horihan said Cedar County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.