Massive Iowa Construction Site Fire Fueled by High Winds

High winds hampered firefighters’ efforts to extinguish a fire at a huge assisted living complex under construction in West Des Moines, Iowa, officials said.

The four-alarm fire was reported around 6 p.m. Monday, the Des Moines Register reported. Fire officials said about a dozen construction workers were in the 200,000-square-foot at the time of the fire, but all were able to escape safely.

The facility, west of Jordan Creek Town Center, had been set to open in the fall.

Winds gusting up to 45 mph on Monday drove the fire and put neighboring buildings in the area at risk, city Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell said. It took more than two hours for firefighters to get the blaze under control and longer to put it out, Whitsell said.

“A large amount of the building did end up collapsing, but well over half of the building is still standing,” he said.