Woman dies in fire one week after retiring - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Woman dies in fire one week after retiring

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CORALVILLE (KWWL) - One woman died in a house fire early Friday morning in Coralville, just one week after entering retirement.

Mary Clanton was a nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for 41 years. The hospital said Clanton retired last Friday.

Fire crews responded to the fire at 704 Ninth Ave. just before 1 a.m. Friday. When they arrived, they found a fire in the bedroom of the home and 60-year-old Mary Clanton dead inside from smoke inhalation. Clanton was the owner and the only person living in the home.

Neighbors said the crews working to put out the fire woke them up.

"By the time all the fire trucks got here, it was pretty bright and pretty loud. When they asked me if I knew if anyone was home, I didn't. So, that's what I was concerned about," Sheila Streeby said.

Neighbors described Clanton as more of a private person, but always very friendly. Floyd Otdoerfer had helped Clanton with yard work for 25 years, and snow removal during the winter months.

"She was a good person, just a good person. We'll miss her," Otdeorfer said.

He said after spending so much time on Ninth Ave. and getting to know Clanton, going through something like this is difficult.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics released a statement Friday regarding Clanton's death:

“Mary was a valued member of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics staff and had been here for 41 years. She was committed to her patients and to nursing, and will be greatly missed. This is a great tragedy, particularly for someone who was just beginning to enjoy her retirement.”

The Coralville Fire Chief said the department is ruling the fire's cause as undetermined, but said it was accidental. He said the fire started in the corner of the bedroom, where several things were plugged in. He said the home had three smoke detectors, and from what crews could tell, they all seemed to be in working order.
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