(update 10/20/11, 8:53-a.m.) Identity of Woman who died in Bluffs house fire released


October 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Fire officials in Council Bluffs have released the name of an elderly Council Bluffs woman who died following a house fire Wednesday afternoon. Chief Alan Byers says 77-year old Yon-Sook Kim was overcome by smoke, and died at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. Byers says firefighters responded to 917 Spruce St. at around 1:17 p.m, after a neighbor called to report smoke coming from an attic vent. A utility worker on his way to a job site also called 9-1-1 when he saw heavy smoke coming from a front window of the home. Police officers arrived on the scene and kicked in the door, but were unable to enter the home due to the intense smoke.

Firefighters found the woman unconscious, in her kitchen.  A preliminary investigation indicates an accidental cooking fire likely caused the blaze. Byers says the amount of actual fire damage to the structure was limited to the hall & kitchen area, with heavy smoke damage throughout the rest of the residence. He says also, there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

An autopsy was sheduled to be performed on Kim’s body today (Thursday), at the State Medical Examiner’s office in Ankeny. The results of the autopsy will likely be released in 2-to 3-days.