Christmas Day Fires in Davenport and Rapid City, One Ruled Arson - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Christmas Day Fires in Davenport and Rapid City, One Ruled Arson

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Families in Rapids City, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa will need to find places to stay Christmas night after fire rips through their homes during the day. And in Davenport, investigator say that blaze was arson.

Crews responded to the 72-hundred block of Kelling Street just before three in the morning for a structure fire and a disturbance. While firefighters knocked down the blaze, investigators dug a little deeper. They determined two people who lived in the home had been arguing over a text message.

Ryan Eckstein had threatened to harm his girlfriend, and she told offices she was afraid for her safety. Further investigation determined the fire was deliberately set. Eckstein is in jail at this hour. The 26-year old is charged with domestic assault and 2nd degree arson. That's a felony.

The house is unlivable right now. Red Cross volunteers tell us they are helping the woman who lived there, and two children.

Meantime, in Rapids City, the homeowner was not there when fire broke out at about 1:30 in the afternoon in the 300 block of 13th Street. Crews from half a dozen departments responded, telling us when they arrived, heavy smoke and flames were pouring from the house. They were able to knock down the blaze. No one was hurt.

But the Rapids City Chief says a call like this is always tough on Christmas. "When I got the call," Chief Don Carey says, "I was at home with my family doing Christmas and my heart just sank. Because you wonder about the impact you're gonna have on another family, losing things, possessions, your health this time of year."

No word on what started the fire yet. The Chief says the home is pretty close to a total loss.