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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office


For Additional Information Contact::
Taylor County Sheriff’s Office  (712) 523-2153
State Fire Marshal Division  (712) 308-3977

Blockton, IOWA --- Today the Iowa Department of Public Safety's State Fire Marshal Division is confirming the victim found dead in Monday's home fire in Blockton, Iowa has been positively identified as home owner, 74 year old Kenneth Leroy Nielsen. Additionally, the preliminary autopsy report indicates Nielsen died of smoke inhalation.

Fire investigators have concluded that due to the extent of damage, no area of origin or specific cause can be determined and the cause of the fire will be listed as, "Undetermined." However, during their inspection of the property, investigators did find numerous extension cords and eight space heaters used to heat the property. The State Fire Marshal's Office would like to use this opportunity to remind Iowans that safety should be your first concern when seeking alternative heating sources for your home during these cold winter months.

To view a list of safety tips for home heating, click here.

Taylor County dispatch received a 911 call on Monday, December 27, 2010, at 5:13 a.m., of a possible shed fire at 3346 State Hwy 2, in Blockton, located in southwestern Iowa. Fire personnel from the Blockton, Bedford and Clearfield fire departments arrived to find a single family manufactured home completely involved. The home and a second manufactured home sitting on the same property were completely destroyed by the fire. The fire resulted in one fatality.

The fire is being investigated by the Taylor and Ringgold County Sheriff’s Offices and the State Fire Marshal Division. There is no evidence of foul play at this time. Anyone with information concerning this fire should call the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 523-2153 or the State Fire Marshall Division at (712) 308-3977.


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