Fire crews were called to a home in northwest Des Moines about five o’clock this morning. In the process of attacking the flames, Fire Captain Steve Brown says the firefighters made a discovery.
“As they were extinguishing the fire, they found the resident of the home in the bedroom,” Captain Brown says. “She was deceased.”
Officials say the woman found inside was 54-year-old Melanie Sheldahl who lived in the home. An autopsy is planned. Brown says smoke detectors were sounding inside the home when the first fire truck arrived and a neighbor called 911.
Brown says the fire appears to have started in the kitchen, but he couldn’t specify. “Just in the general kitchen area,” Brown says. “There’s quite a bit of damage in there right now so they’re reconstructing to see exactly where that fire started.” He says the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature.
(This story was updated at 12:22 p.m.)