Investigators are hoping to learn more today about what sparked a fatal fire in Des Moines over the weekend. Sixty-two-year-old Velva Schmitt was found dead inside a burning apartment early Saturday morning.
An autopsy is scheduled for today. When firefighters arrived on the scene just after 3 a.m., they found 39-year-old Merle Ervin outside the building on Des Moines’ southwest side. He told firefighters his mother was inside, but he had to get out because the flames and smoke became too intense.
The cause of the fire has not been released. Ervin was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation. The local Red Cross is helping some other residents of the building that were forced to leave their apartments.