“We’ve just recently confirmed that there’s two fatalities resulting from this fire,” Treloar says. Two children and a female adult were rescued and were taken to local hospitals. We’re confirming that the two fire fatalities were children,” Treloar says.
The woman is currently in critical condition at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
Treloar says a girl was able to get out of the burning home and flag down someone to call the department and let them know there were people inside. He says they arrived on the scene very quickly and faced tough conditions.
“Crews faced zero visibility with heavy, heavy black smoke in the structure,” according to Treloar. “They were able to locate three of the victims upstairs. They were able to bring one out the back door and then two of the fire victims were extricated through an upstairs window to firefighters waiting on a ladder,” Treloar says.
The two children who died were a boy and a girl. The names of the victims have not yet been released. He isn’t sure if there were working smoke detectors in the home.
“There may’ve been. We found an area on the wall where there appeared to be one, but our crews did not hear them going off when we arrived. There again, that is not to say that they were not functioning,” Treloar says.
He says investigators are still working on what caused the fire. “We’re confident that we know where the fire started — we’re still working through possibilities of why it started,” Treloar says. There were about a dozen dogs and cats in the basement of the home. Some of the pets also died in the fire.
(Story and photos by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein/Waterloo)