Investigators say it was cigarette ash that caused a house fire in Mason City early Tuesday morning that killed a 50-year-old woman. Fire Marshal Mark Christiansen says the fire cause has been determined to be ash from a cigarette that ignited combustible items near an ashtray, which was on top of a clothes dryer.
Christiansen says the fire caused heavy damage to the laundry room and kitchen of the residence as well as smoke and heat damage to the entire home. Sharon Young died yesterday morning at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where she was taken for smoke inhalation.
Police at the scene were able to break out a window and get Young’s daughter-in-law Jennifer Lear and her two-year-old daughter out of the house, with firefighters later finding Young near the front door of the house. Lear and her daughter were treated and released from Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City.