Authorities have released the name of the woman who was killed in a house fire in Council Bluffs on Wednesday afternoon. She’s identified as 77-year-old Yon-Sook Kim. An autopsy is planned today. It’s believed Kim was overcome by smoke. Fire crews were called to the burning home around 1:15 P.M. Council Bluffs Fire Chief Alan Byers says a passerby spotted the blaze and took immediate action.
“An employee of Black Hills Energy was driving down the street and saw smoke coming from the house, stopped, knocked on the door, nobody answered, went to a neighbor’s house and they called 911,” Chief Byers says. Firefighters and police were able to get to the house quickly.
A policeman kicked the door in as smoke was really bad, crews got on the scene right behind him,” Byers says. “First crews in did a search and found an elderly lady who has since passed away.” Firefighters found the woman unconscious in her kitchen and a fire in the hallway outside of a bedroom in the single-story home.
The flames were quickly extinguished. Byers says two smoke detectors were found in the home. “I don’t know if either one of them was working,” he says. “First-in crews did not hear a working smoke detector.” Rescue workers performed CPR on the victim while they were enroute with her to a hospital, but the woman later died. Byers applauds the utility worker for his actions.
“It’s pushing the message to take care of your neighbors and look around when you’re driving around,” he says. “It’s people that care that are willing to stop and try and make a difference. We have to appreciate that.” Investigators say it appears an accidental cooking fire started the fatal fire.