FLOYD, Iowa - A north Iowa community is turning a tragedy into an opportunity for change.
27-year-old Josh Nelson was the victim of an apartment fire that happened back in March.
Authorities believe the blaze began on the front porch of the apartment and spread throughout the rest of the complex.
Family and friends of Nelson believe that he might have survived if he would have had another option for an escape.
This logic is exactly why Lois Meyer and the Floyd Fire Department have now formed an organization called “Operation Josh’s Ladder.”
The idea is to provide families who live in two story homes with fire escape ladders.
Meyer says this project is her way of making sure that no other families have to endure such a tragedy.
“When Josh Nelson died in the fire on March 31st in Charles City, it was such a tragedy,” she says, “but it brings to mind you know that this could happen to me, it could happen to my family and I don’t want anybody to die in a fire.”
Over the weekend, the organization handed out more than 30 ladders to families in Floyd.
Meyer says that it’s a turnout she is very pleased with as she believes having these ladders will spark the conversation about how to get out if a fire does happen in your home.
“Two things are important,” she says, “know a plan for a fire. You might not even have one, but figure out a way to get out of your house in two ways; you have got to have two ways because you don’t know where the fire is going to be.”
Operation Josh’s Ladder is working to continue their reach of providing ladders for families.
Meyers says that they’re trying to raise more money to buy enough fire ladders to giveaway to other communities.