Dubuque County fire leaves one dead and one injured, home deemed 'total loss'

SHERRILL, Iowa (KCRG) - A house fire in Dubuque County has taken the life of a Sherrill woman and injured another man. Neighbors told TV9 the man ran to them for help as the fire destroyed his home.

A home off South Mound Rd. in Sherrill was deemed a "total loss" after a fire early Wednesday night. The fire left one person dead and another person injured. (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)

The fire started about 4:45 Wednesday evening at 16617 South Mound Rd. in Sherrill. The Dubuque County Sherriff's Office said the house was ruled a "total loss" with the estimated value more than $150,000.

Officials on scene found 53-year-old Lisa Kloft dead inside the home after putting the fire out. Kloft was a resident of the home, along with 52-year-old John Ogelsby. Ogelsby was transported to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque before being airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City.

As of Thursday evening, the cause of the fire was still uncertain and remained under investigation. Neighbors said law enforcement was on scene for hours. Multiple fire departments, the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office, and the Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office responded to the scene.

In a neighborhood that people described as typically quiet, things became intense quickly Wednesday night.

"I heard somebody hollering 'Fire! Fire! Call 9-1-1! Hurry! Please!'" recalled Janet Tekippe, who lives next door to the home that burned down.

Tekippe said seeing a home burn was something she had never seen before, and something she hopes never to see again.

"That's as close as we ever want to get to a fire," Tekippe said.

A day after the fire, the home was charred and destroyed. But for nearby neighbors, the memories remained vivid.

"Just seemed like unreal. Almost like a dream, a bad dream," said Corenna Marshall, who lives only feet away from the home. She said she grew up in the home since the 1970's before moving out.

"Just seemed like unreal," Marshall said. "Almost like a dream, a bad dream."

"I came running out of the bathroom and John was standing in the middle of the floor, hollering 'hurry!'" said Tekippe. "And I grabbed the phone, and I dialed 9-1-1."

Ogelsby was the one who ran to Tekippe's home. But according to Tekippe, Ogelsby went back inside the home.

"He said: 'I don't know if she's okay,'" Tekippe said. "And he took off and ran back up to the house. And the dispatcher asked where he was and I said: 'he went back up.'"

"I did not sleep one wink last night," Tekippe said Thursday. "I was just worried sick."

"It's a very small community and everyone knows everyone," Marshall said. "It's just shock- it hits pretty hard."

After looking at the damage, and seeing the flames firsthand, the neighbors were left with little to say to the families of both Kloft and Ogelsby.

"The words can't express how we feel," Tekippe said. "We're so, so sorry."

"My prayers and thoughts go out to the family," Marshall said. "I know it's gotta be rough."