WATCH: Officers catch kids dropped from apt. fire

Birchwood Apartment Fire-54710709

DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI-DT) — Officers with the Des Moines Police Department rescued three children in an early morning apartment fire Tuesday.

Before evacuating, families were tossing their kids out of windows to save them. It was caught on the officer’s body camera.

The fire happened on the third floor of the Birchwood Apartments in Des Moines. The call came in around 3:15 a.m.  

The entire building was evacuated and power was shut off. The American Red Cross as responding help the displaced families.  

Later, a few residents were able to return to their apartment to get a few belongings. WOOD TV8’s Des Moines sister station WOI-DT asked one of them, George Bassette, he heard the fire alarms go off.

“I was asleep,” Bassette said. “About the time I woke up I saw the fire shooting from the windows, dropping from the windows. Police officers was banging on all the doors making sure everyone was out.”

Bassette says there is water damage to his bathroom and the ceiling in his bedroom fell out.

The fire was contained to the third floor. The extent of water damage in the rest of the building is unknown.

Des Moines PD Lt. Rick Thomas said there were smoke detectors in the apartment where the fire sparked, but they were not connected to a system within the building. He said that if the building had a built-in system, residents could have gotten out in a more timely manner.  

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  

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