The State Fire Marshal’s office says smoke detectors apparently weren’t working in a mobile home where two people died in Newton. Newton Fire Marshal Tom Rodewald unveiled the completed report this morning. Rodewald says they had materials from the home tested at Iowa’s state crime lab, and results indicate the fire was accidental. They think someone smoking or using a charcoal grill started a fire on the mobile home’s wooden deck, and that fire then spread to the rest of the home. The early-morning fire on May 18 killed 53-year-old Rhita Haas and 57-year-old Richard Feehan, who both lived in the mobile home. He says investigators found the fire blocked the main door to the trailer, and don’t think smoke detectors were working. Neighbors say they were shouting back and forth with the couple in the burning mobile home after the fire was discovered about one that morning, but couldn’t guide the two out of the home.
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