(update 12:18-p.m.) Child dies in Council Bluffs house fire Saturday


August 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A house fire in Council Bluffs early this (Saturday) morning resulted in the death of a young child. According to the Council Bluffs Police Department, the fire at 313 North 34th Street was reported to 9-1-1 just after 6-a.m. Neighbors say they were wakened by the sounds of Crystal Hatcher, the mother three children, screaming in the street. Officials say Hatcher, a six-year old and two-year old child were able to escape the home, but 4-year old Leland Johnson, of Council Bluffs was trapped in an upstairs bedroom. Fire officials said it took firefighters nearly 10-minutes to reach the boy, because of the heavy smoke and flames.

When they found the unconscious child, the boy was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, where he died from his injuries. Hatcher and her two other children were provided with food and clothing following the fire, which remains under investigation. The blaze destroyed the house and a car parked in the driveway. The family was reported to have found shelter with area relatives.