SFM Logo

DPS Logo

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

For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
November 6, 2015

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

Cause of Cedar Falls Motel Explosion Released

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- On October 10, 2015, an explosion happened at the Shady Rest Motel, 2008 Center Street in Cedar Falls.  Matthew David Ferleman, 43, was injured during the explosion and later died from his injuries. 

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) was called to investigate and determined the explosion was caused by Ferleman when he blew out the pilot light on a gas appliance in a room the night before, in an attempt to commit suicide.  When Ferleman awoke the next day he attempted to light a cigarette and caused the explosion. 

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny performed an autopsy on the body of Ferleman by Dr. Michele Catellier. Dr. Catellier determined Ferleman died from thermal injuries and ruled the cause of death as a suicide.

The case was investigated by Cedar Falls Fire & Rescue, Cedar Falls Police, Black Hawk County Sheriff, Sartori Paramedic Service, Iowa DPS: State Fire Marshal Division, Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Facebook        Twitter

To enroll in the DPS E-mail Notification system simply log on to https://dpsemailnotify.iowa.gov and follow the instructions to enroll as a new user.