Authorities say there were no injuries in a fire in the 1300 block of North Court Street on Monday night, but they suspect the fire was intentionally set.
Fire Deputy Chief Cory Benge said fire crews responded to the house at 11:44 p.m. Monday. Benge said the family of seven made it out with no injuries, but there were no working smoke detectors in the house.
"The fire started on the outside of the house and progressed inside," Benge said. "We do not know what started it, but foul play is suspected, unfortunately."
No names have been released in connection with the fire, but Brandon Holstrom, response coordinator for the local Red Cross, said the Red Cross is working with the family of two adults and five children on their long-term needs.
“Typically we don’t accept donations on the client’s behalf. We just don’t have the resources to hold onto it,” Holstrom said. “We did assist the family last night, a little after midnight. We provided them food, shelter and clothing.”
The house suffered 30 percent fire damage and 100 percent smoke and water damage, meaning 30 percent of the structure was burned and the entire structure suffered smoke and water damage.
"Between smoke and water damage, the house is about a total loss," Benge said. "It doesn't look bad from the road because the back of the house is where it burned."
Benge said anyone with information regarding the fire can call the Ottumwa Fire Department at 641-683-0666.
Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated the fire was early Tuesday morning. It was late Monday night.