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Christmas Day Fire Guts Monmouth Home

MONMOUTH -- A two-story home in Monmouth was destroyed in a fire on Christmas morning, Polk County Fire District No. 1 said.

MONMOUTH -- A two-story home in Monmouth was destroyed in a fire on Christmas morning, Polk County Fire District No. 1 said.

Polk No. 1 officials received a call at about 7 a.m. from a neighbor that the house at 158 W. Gwinn St. was in flames, said Division Chief Neal Olson.

Firefighters arrived to find the first and second stories fully engulfed, were unable to enter the residence, and had to attempt to extinguish it from the outside.

The blaze "essentially gutted the structure," Olson said. "It burned everything inside. We couldn't tell if there was any furniture at all and the windows blew out. It's just a shell."

There were no injuries reported. The owner and occupant of the home, Luke Bobeda, was out of town visiting family at the time of the incident, Olson said.

The house was a total loss and damages were estimated at $250,000. Olson said on Monday the cause of the fire was still under investigation and that the structure was still unsafe to enter.

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