UPDATE: Cause of deadly Waterloo house fire released - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Cause of deadly Waterloo house fire released

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UPDATE: Waterloo Fire Rescue has determined what the cause of that deadly fire along Dawson St. was. Investigators have determined an accelerant was involved in the fire. The investigation is ongoing.

The Waterloo Fire Department used their accelerant detection dog, Radar, to help find these answers. Chief Pat Treloar says Radar helps out, especially in fire investigations that don't always add up. 

"The dog just simply alerts to the smell of an accelerant, the dog indicated on scene, so we took samples and sent it off," said Chief Treloar.  

Those results coming back positive for an accelerant, but authorities not yet calling this an arson. "We are still processing other evidence, and the investigation still continues," said Chief Treloar. 

Neighbors say they weren't surprised to hear an accelerant was involved.  

Heather Medina a neighbor who was at the scene of the fire said, "I had my suspicions that it was, I mean it's devastating." 

She says the neighborhood has felt different since that day. 

"My kids miss them really bad right now," said Medina. 

The front porch is filled with candles and toys, as the community waits for answers. 

Chief Treloar wants to remind families to protect themselves saying, "Every level of the home have a working smoke detector, we suggest that people sleep with their bedroom door shut."

Hoping these steps will help prevent another tragedy like this, from happening again.


A young boy and his mother are dead after a weekend house fire in Waterloo.

Nine-year-old Jaykwon Sallis and his mother 32-year-old Ashley Smith were killed in the fire on Sunday.

The fire started around 6:30 a.m. at the home in the 500 block of Dawson Street. When fire crews arrived, they say the home was engulfed and they are confident the fire started in the front of the house.

Waterloo firefighters say there were five people in the house at the time of the fire. Waterloo Fire Chief Pat Treloar says three people were able to escape through a back window. When crews arrived, they were informed there were two people still inside the home and they died on scene. 

The chief says a man, a woman and a young girl escaped, two of them were transported to an area hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the deceased and injured individuals from this fire. Although we had crews on the scene in under four minutes, the fire had a significant head start before the first 911 call was received," said Waterloo Police Chief Pat Treloar.

Waterloo fire had a total of 19 personnel, four fire engines, one aerial truck, two ambulances and a command vehicle on the scene of this fire.The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Friends are planning a vigil to be held outside the home on Dawson Street to remember the two who died in the fire. The vigil will begin tonight at 8 p.m. at 536 Dawson Street.

This marks the second deadly house fire in Waterloo in the past six weeks. In March a mother and two of her children were killed in a fire on Commercial Street. Chief Treloar urges families to have an escape plan, working smoke detectors in every room and to sleep with bedroom doors shut.

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