One Dead in Marion House Fire

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

MARION, Iowa -- A smoky fire that may have put itself out before firefighters even arrived took the life of a Marion man early Sunday morning.

Marion firefighters said the fire broke out just before 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning at 3462 Barnsley Circle in Marion.

Marion Fire Captain William Houser said the initial call to the department was only about a smell of smoke inside the home. Firefighters didn't know there was an actual fire until they arrived on the scene.

Houser said the home did have working smoke detectors inside. And three of the four people in the home made it out safely.

It was the fourth person in the family who died and Houser said firefighters discovered the body in a back bedroom where the fire apparently originated. The house itself showed no evidence of fire damage at all from the outside.

Marion authorities identified the fire victim Monday as 37-year-old David Norman of Marion.

They did not release a cause of death. But Ben Huston, a brother-in-law of the victim said investigators may be looking at either a candle or an electrical problem as the cause.

Huston said the wife of the victim made it safely outside the home with two small children and she thought her husband was right behind her.

"From what we can gather at this point the wife was able to get the two small children out of the house and when she went back to get her husband she wasn't able to get in due to smoke that was in the house at the time," Huston said.

Marion Fire Captain Houser said the smoke inside the room was thick, but the fire had basically extinguished itself and firefighters did not use any water to put it out.

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