Fire destroys home of returning Iowa soldier


July 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DEXTER, Iowa (AP) — Fire has destroyed the home of an Iowa Army National Guard soldier returning from Afghanistan.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines says Pfc. A-Jay Irelan is to arrive in Iowa on Sunday. His house in Dexter, about 30 miles west of Des Moines, was damaged early Wednesday.

His girlfriend, Erin Richey, says she got the call at work. The home they shared with her son, Layne, was engulfed in flames.

Richey says the hardest thing was telling Irelan about the fire. He’s on his the way home after a yearlong deployment. Richey says he was just relieved that no one was hurt.

Richey says they don’t have insurance, and have found a home in Stuart to rent for now.

A Wells Fargo fund to help the family has been set up. You can donate at any Wells Fargo location, under the Irelan-Richey fund.