Mother, 3 children killed in overnight house fire – DesMoinesRegister.com
BOXHOLM, Ia. â Three children and one adult were killed in an overnight fire this Boone County town early Sunday morning.
The victims were identified as Amber Sorenson, 27, and her children Riley, 9, Autumn, 6, and Brayden, 4, said Rick Lampe of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.
The father, John Sorenson, was out of town working when the fire happened, neighbors told the Register.
Around 12:45 a.m. Sunday, emergency officials received a call regarding a house fire in the 300 block of Beech Street in Boxholm.
The bodies were recovered around 2:15 a.m., Lampe said. They were brought to the AnkenyÂ state medical examinerâs office in Ankeny.
Local residents said the Sorensons wereÂ good people and the fire is a tragic moment in the town’s history. Churches and a localÂ shop made their space available for family and emergency officials to warm up in.
David Peterson, a local historian who’s lived in Boxholm most of his life, said the Sorenson family lived in the house for around four or five years, while the grandparents have lived here for around 80 years.
“In my lifetime, this is the most deaths we’ve had (at once),” Peterson said. “I don’t know how they’re going to cope.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. As of Sunday afternoon it had raised around $15,000.
Frigid conditions presented challenges with fighting the fire, and firefighters were still on the scene Sunday afternoon dealing with hot spots.Â The temperature was around 6 below zero in Boxholm early Sunday morning when the fire broke out.
“We had a ton of problems. A lot of pumps on the fire trucks were freezing up. They had some hydrants that were freezing up,” said Dave Morlan, emergency management coordinator for Boone County.Â “Boxholm is small and we had some problems â¦Â we ran out of water and had to go further out of town to get water.”
Officials said that firefighters drained the town’s water tower in its efforts. There were also issues with emergency officials slipping and falling.
Morlan said emergency officials were “fairly sure” that people were inside the home when the fire was going, but they wereÂ not able to confirm until they were able to enter the home.
“It’s my understanding that due to the cold temperatures and some of the freezing of the pumps, and that kind of stuff, slowed it down a little. But I don’t know to what extent,” Morlan said.
Jeffrey Quigle, Iowa State fire marshal, said the fire is under investigation. He said his department will release information on the fire once the investigation is complete.
“Extreme, bitterly cold weather are not the best conditions to conduct a fire investigation in,” Quigle said.
A local pastor said the family is requesting privacy at this time.
SurroundingÂ fire stations and volunteer firefighters responded to the scene, including stations from Boone, Dayton, Gowrie, Grand Junction, Leheigh, Ogden, Paton andÂ Pilot Mound. TheÂ Boone County Sheriff’s Department andÂ Boone County Emergency Management were also on the scene.
This is the second deadly home fire in Iowa in one week.Â Three people were found dead and one was injured in a mobile home fire inÂ MontroseÂ on Jan. 12.
In DecemberÂ 2004, a fatherÂ died duringÂ a house fire in Boxholm, while his wife, children and other relatives were able to escape, according to Register archives.