A fatal house fire in Sioux City over the weekend is blamed on a cigar. The victim is identified as 71-year-old Delbert Rowse.
Sioux City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph says investigators determined Rowse fell asleep on his sofa while smoking the home’s basement.
“The cause of this fire was careless use of smoking material that ignited the sofa in the basement living room,” Aesoph said.
The fire was reported at 1:45 a.m. Saturday. The home did have smoke detectors.
“We had a city inspector in this home just a few months ago and at that time…there were two working smoke alarms in the home,” Aesoph said. “After the fire, we were able to located both smoke alarms and it appears they probably were working at the time of the fire.”
It’s Sioux City’s second fatal fire this year. Investigators also announced today (Monday) that a house fire last week in Sioux City was likely caused by a child playing with a lighter. Two dogs died in that fire last Wednesday afternoon.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City