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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
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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

Additional Information Released in Milford, Iowa Home Fire

Milford, IOWA --- Fire officials have determined that the fatal home fire in Milford, Iowa on May 7, 2011 was intentionally set. Information gained through the fire investigation revealed the fire was started by a child in the home. The area of origin was a bed within one of the bedrooms.

At 11:19 AM on May 7, 2011 the Milford Fire Department was called to a fatal structure fire located at 1411 6th Street, Suite 119 at the Pioneer Trailer Court in Milford, Iowa. Upon arrival fire crews said they met heavy smoke and fire. Crews were then informed that a child was still inside the residence. Fire personnel made entry form both ends of the trailer house and encountered high heat and heavy smoke. Firefighters recovered the body of two year old Dustin Ladehoff from the residence.

Preliminary reports from the The Office of the State Medical Examiner's Office show that Ladenhoff died of smoke and soot inhalation.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal would like to encourage parents to talk to their children about the dangers of playing with fire. There are several great resources available to parents at web sites for both the National Fire Protection Association and the US Fire Administration. Please remember these small tips when teaching your children about fire:

  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, up high, preferably in a locked cabinet
  • Never use lighters or matches as a source of amusement for children; they may imitate you
  • If your child expresses curiosity about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools for adults only
  • If you suspect your child is intentionally setting fires or unduly fascinated with fire, get help. Your local fire department, school, or community counseling agency can put you in touch with trained experts.

The State Fire Marshal Division, Milford Fire Department, Milford Police Department, Arnolds Park Police Department, and Milford Utilities continue to work cooperatively on the investigation into this fire.



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