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      Early morning fire erupts in house just south of Ottumwa

      An early morning fire engulfed a house just south of Ottumwa on Monday morning.

      The Wapello County Rural Fire Department received a call around 6:40 a.m. concerning a fire on Little Soap Road just off of Highway 63.

      Flames were showing when they arrived as they battled the freezing cold temperature and whipping wind.

      "We proceeded to put out the fire," said Wapello County Rural Fire Chief Bryan Ziegler. "We've had several different departments here that have helped out. Everybody's been working well together and, of course, it's been cold and windy this morning."

      The fire started in the chimney area of the house--and while no cause of the fire has been confirmed--it is believed to be related to a woodstove.

      There were no injuries caused by the fire, but the damages to the house resulted in a total loss.

      The Wapello County Rural Fire Department received assistance from fire departments in Ottumwa, Eldon, Floris, Drakesville, Pulaski, Bloomfield and Blakesburg in controlling the blaze.