A fire ripped through a Lake City,
Iowa home early Tuesday morning. Now three children and one adult are dead.
Lake City Police say the fire started
sometime before 1:45 a.m. It was discovered by Officer Dana Cook, who saw smoke
above the south part of town and followed it to 703 South Illinois Street.
"According to the
fire department and according to Officer Cook, the house was fully engulfed.
Flames bursting from the window. Smoke coming from the entire perimeter of the
house," said Lake City Police Chief Bobby Rist.
Family members tell us inside were 23-year-old
Tyra Pierson, her 10-month-old son Xavier Pierson and Tyra's little sister and
brother; eight-year-old Madison Pierson and three-year-old Wyatt Pierson.
Great Aunt Linda Barthman says
Officer Cook tried to get inside the burning house to help, but couldn't.
"He was just
devastated because he couldn't get in. He could not get in, too much smoke, too
hot. He couldn't get in. He was so helpless. He was crying. He just
couldn't," she said.
Barthman says the victims' other
sister and parents were at work during the fire. She says they're still in
shock from the loss, but will desperately miss their loved ones.
"They were full of
life, everyone. You fell in love with them when you met them," Barthman.
The state fire marshal's
office says the fire is not considered suspicious, but the cause is being
There is fund for the Pierson family
if you want to help. Contact your closest United Bank of Iowa branch to donate.
Lake City is
a town of about 1,700 residents, located in Calhoun
County about 100 miles east of Sioux City.
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