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Authorities investigate fire at vacant Mason City home

Authorities are still investigating how a house fire started in a vacant house early Thursday morning.

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 8:57 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 6:22 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa- Authorities are still investigating how a house fire started in a vacant house early Thursday morning.
First responders say they received a call for help on the 200 block of 6th Pl SE and Jersey Ave., where a caller said smoke was coming out of the windows. Those on scene said when they entered the home a lighter was discarded in the living room area toward the back of the house where the fire started as well as trash, drug paraphernalia and potentially illicit drugs.
Authorities said when they contacted the landlord, they were informed the last tenant had been evicted from the property three weeks earlier.
Alvin Norman, a neighbor, said the cops started knocking on his door around 3:30 a.m. to see if he had seen anyone in the home Thursday.
“It’s pretty terrifying at 3:30 in the morning ... there’s a cop at the door with lights and everything,” he said.
Norman said he hadn’t seen anyone at the home Thursday, but didn’t realize the home was vacant as he said he has seen a number of people coming to and from the house over the last several days.
“It has been quite active over there,” he said. “There are people going in and out all of the time at all hours of the day. They are driving up, stopping by ... it is usually one of the most active houses on the block.”
Authorities said they have no determined the cause of the fire but no one was injured.

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