Authorities have identified the two men that were killed in a house fire early Sunday morning in Sioux City. The victims are 59-year-old Donald Listman and 48-year-old Rodney Pritchard.
Sioux City Fire Marshal Chuck Hirsh says firefighters knew there were probably people in the home when they entered the front door.
"This was a very small house, less than 500 square feet, and the fire in the living room was just inside the front door," Hirsh said. "Firefighters were looking for the occupants. I believe they were told by a neighbor next door that there were probably people in the home and because of the size of the house, they didn’t have to go very far to find both occupants in the home."
Firefighters pulled Listman and Pritchard out of the home. Both men were alive, but unconscious, and died later at the hospital. Hirsh says Listman tried to escape the heavy smoke and heat by going into a bathroom shower. "Mr. Listman apparently had woken up, had enough time to get to the shower, turn the shower on and try and protect himself from the heat and the smoke – but he was found unconscious at the base of the shower," Hirsh said.
A city employee that was plowing snow reported the fire at 3 a.m. Investigators have not yet determined a cause for the fire. Hirsh says there was a smoke detector in the home, but it was destroyed in the fire, so investigators don’t know if it was in working order.