Carter Lake Fire victim dies


June 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Another victim of a western Iowa fire has died. Officials with the St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, NE, say 74-year-old Donna Thomas died Wednesday night after being critically burned in a fire at her mobile home in Carter Lake early Tuesday morning. Thomas was found by two Carter Lake Police officers who were on patrol at around 2:30-a.m., Tuesday.
When officers Ryan Gonsior and Ron Hansen arrived at 3510 N. Ninth Street, smoke was billowing from unit 213.

Police Chief Shawn Kannedy said the woman’s cry for help alerted the officers, who forced their way in to the structure.  Thomas was found on the floor behind a door. The officers, who could see only her arm, grabbed the woman and pulled her out of the mobile home.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s office say the fire was caused by an electrical short in an appliance near Thomas’ bed. The blaze severely damaged the home and some nearby sheds. Officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

Thomas was the second woman to die from injuries suffered in a mobile home fire on the same day.63-year old Susan Davis, of Fontanelle died Wednesday, at the University of Iowa Hospital’s Burn Unit. She and 60-year old Howard Burgher were found outside their home Saturday night. Burgher died Sunday morning. Careless discarding of smoking materials was blamed for the fire that took their lives.  There were no working smoke detectors in the couples’ residence.

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