MAQUOKETA, Iowa — The American Red Cross was called in to assist a Maquoketa family whose house was severely damaged by fire Friday night.

Also, a Maquoketa firefighter was taken to the hospital with heat exhaustion during the house fire Friday night at 1014 E. Grove St.

Assistant Fire Chief Al Muhlhausen said the firefighter will be OK. The American Red Cross was called in to assist the owners, Kirk and Erin Miller, and their three children.

Firefighters were called to the home near Cardinal Elementary School just after 6:30 p.m. Flames were shooting through the roof at the back of the house when firefighters arrived.

Muhlhausen said the fire started in an exhaust fan in the bathroom in the rear of the house. He said the damage was contained to the bathroom roof and ceiling in the back of the house. He estimated between $50,000 and $75,000 in damage.

No one was home at the time of the fire. Muhlhause said firefighters saved the family's pets.

"One cat was hiding under the sofa, but we got it out," he said, "Heat and humidity was a big factor. That's why I called Andrew Fire Department to help out. We had a large turnout of our guys, too."

I'm the city editor at the Quad-City Times. You can reach me at or 563-383-2450.