Faulty power strip blamed in deadly fire that killed 4 children, investigators say

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:49 PM HST
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MASON CITY, Iowa (KTTC) - A community is mourning the death of four children who died in a house fire Wednesday morning.

The Mason City Fire Department said the house was already up in flames when crews arrived and they called in all available staff to the scene.

“I believe we had an additional 17 personal come in,” said Mason City Fire Department Chief Eric Bullinger.

Firefighters said they worked for an hour and a half to put the fire out, but it was too late to save the children trapped inside.

“The call came into the dispatch center that we had victims trapped inside. They did encounter some pretty heavy fire conditions,” Bullinger said.

According to Bullinger, fire investigators were able to find where the fire started.

“Investigators were able to determine that the origin came from a power strip, but the cause of why it malfunctioned or if it was overloaded still needs to be investigated,” Bullinger said.

The four children were students within the Mason City community.

“Mason City Community Schools has an overwhelming sense of sadness. The four students that lost their lives were beloved and valued by their school community,” said Mason City Community Schools Supt. Pat Hamilton.

School officials said the news has shocked the entire school system, and they have brought in counselors for crisis support.

“Our focus is on our school community to cope with the shock and loss associated with this tragedy,” Hamilton said.

School officials are encouraging parents to reach out to their kids if they need help and to look to the school for support.