4 house fires kill 8 in Iowa over five day span

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:48 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Deadly fires have taken their toll in the state this week. Four house fires have killed eight people, six of them children.

The first happened Monday in Walcott at a mobile home, killing a 2-year-old. The cause there has not been released.

Then Wednesday, flames in Mason City killed four children leaving a family devastated.

“All four of my grandkids perished in the fire,” said Dale Brunning.

Investigators say that fire started with a power strip.

And Thursday two adults in their 70′s died when their Cedar Rapids home caught fire, the cause is still being investigated.

The latest tragedy struck Friday morning in Onslow, killing a child. We spoke with a neighbor next door.

“Our neighbors across the street were banging on our door at 4:30 in the morning to tell us the neighbor’s house is on fire and the scary part is our houses are less than 12 feet apart,” said Hank Webster.

Four other children and an adult were injured in Onslow. One child was taken to UIHC, their condition is unknown. The others have been released from the Jones County Medical Center. The cause of the fire has been deemed an accident, starting in the kitchen.

Several fire departments responded to the fire in Onslow with temperatures Friday only reaching into the 20′s.

“It just was pretty windy and pretty cold out we really had no freezing up anything, everything went pretty smooth but the house was fully engulfed when we got here,” said David Buchholtz, Fire Chief at the Wyoming Fire Department.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Office plans to release the names of the victims on Saturday. They say the child who died was trapped in their bedroom at the time of the fire and efforts to rescue them were unsuccessful due to the intensity of the flames. The child was a student in the Midland School District.

We spoke with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department about safety as more fires are typically seen during the winter months. Many times it’s due to alternate heating sources or cooking.

“One of the most important things is checking your smoke detectors and making sure you have smoke detectors on every level of your home. In your bedrooms, near the sleeping areas, and making sure the batteries are working and that they’re in proper working order,” said Steve Mast, Assistant Fire Marshal at the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

It’s a tip that could save a life as too many have been lost.