House severely damaged in fire south of Waterloo


It was an unlucky St. Patrick’s Day for Ella Mae Wierschem, as her home of more than 20 years was severely damaged by flames and heavy smoke shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday.

Fortunately, Wierschem was attending a family birthday party away from her home, located at 5062 Maeystown Road south of Wartburg, at the time the fire broke out.

Firemen work at the scene of a house fire on Maeystown Road shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday. (Corey Saathoff photo)

“It’s trashed,” Waterloo Fire Chief Mark Yeager said. “The house is most likely a total loss.”

A lamp positioned next to a couch in the living room of the home’s main level is most likely what started the blaze, Yeager said.

“We’re pretty confident that was the cause of it,” he said, adding that a hole was burned through the floor next to where the lamp stood. The area of the ceiling above the lamp was also burned through.

The entire home had either fire, smoke or water damage as firemen remained on scene until around 6:30 p.m. A cat perished in the fire, Yeager said.

The Maeystown Fire Department assisted with the incident.

Yeager said he believes the home was built in the 1800s. It features a tin roof, and portions of the walls are made out of logs that have been covered up with dry wall and paneling.


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