Two employees of the Sioux City School District were found dead inside their fire-damaged home this morning.
Sioux City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph says crews were sent to the couple’s home in the Riverside neighborhood at 8:20 a.m. “Our first units went on scene and found a fire had occurred inside the home. The fire was out prior to our arrival,” Aesoph said.
The two people found dead inside the home are identified as 58-year-old Steve Smith and his wife, 58-year-old Susan Smid. “We were alerted to the incident by a family member who had stopped by the home. At this time, we have no evidence of anything suspicious,” Aesoph said.
The victims likely died of smoke inhalation, according to Aesoph, but autopsies are pending. “The fire appeared to have originated in the kitchen on top of the stove,” Aesoph said.
There were at least two smoke detectors in the couple’s home. “There was one smoke alarm on the main floor, in the hallway. It’s unclear at this time if that one was operational,” Aesoph said. “There was another detector found in the basement that was functional.”
Aesoph said the fire likely extinguished itself by burning up all the oxygen in the home and there may not have been enough smoke to activate the basement detector.
Susan Smid was a music teacher in the Sioux City Schools, while her husband worked for the district’s food services department.
(Reporting in Sioux City by KSCJ’s Woody Gottburg, additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis)