Boxholm, IA -- An early morning house fire killed a mother and her three children while the father, a volunteer firefighter, was at work.
At 1am, firefighters were dispatched to the residential fire on Sunday. When firefighters arrived, they found a home fully engulfed in flames. Investigators believe the fire was most likely started from a space heater.
Four family members were killed in the fire. Firefighters found a mother and three children huddled in a room together with a towel shoved under the door. The mother was twenty-seven year old Amber Sorenson and the children were Riley, 9, Autumn, 6, and Brayden, 4.
Fire Chief Dave Huffman said, "We changed crews and they went back into the room and broke the door down and got in, that had to be the bedroom they were hiding in. They had used a towel, wedged under the door to keep the smoke from coming into the room."
The firefighting efforts were hampered by the cold. "We had a tough time, there were nine fire departments," said Huffman. "We froze up six trucks, two fire hydrants, and drained a water tower. [We] hauled water from three miles south of town at the Xenia Rural Tower and froze it up. Then [we] ended up going six miles away and hauling water from there."
John, the husband and father of the victims, was at work at the time. He is a jailer and volunteer firefighter.
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