Authorities: Fourth person in Des Moines apartment fire dies

AP News
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Posted: May 27, 2017 8:46 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A fourth person has died following a Des Moines apartment blaze, making it one of the city's deadliest fires.

A man being treated at a hospital died Friday from injuries sustained in Thursday's fire at the Eddy Apartments that killed three others, the Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/2qtLbXQ ).

Police have not yet released the names of those killed, only that a 57-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man were among the dead. Police said the other person killed will have to be identified using DNA testing.

One other person remained hospitalized. Two firefighters were also injured; one suffered heat exhaustion and the other injured a knee.

The cause of the fire remains unknown and is under investigation.

Much of the blaze was contained to the fourth floor, where the fire started. The door to the apartment where the fire started was open, which may have helped the flames spread, Des Moines Fire Department Fire Marshal Jonathan Lund said.

While the fourth floor was severely damaged, the other three floors mostly sustained water damage, he said.

There is no sprinkler system in the nearly 100-year-old building, officials said. The building was not in violation of any city codes, officials added.

But the building is well-known to firefighters, who have been called there 24 times in the last six months, fire department spokesman Brian O'Keefe said. Four of those calls were for fires, including two for food burning on a stove and a washer fire.

More than 50 firefighters responded to Thursday's blaze and rescued about 10 people from the building. Other occupants managed to escape on their own. Firefighters put ladders up to the building's fourth floor to help residents escape.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com