What started the house fire in Wayne County?

A house fire occurs; one person dies and another escapes. The survivors and relatives show up at your office and want the lawyer to help them get some answers. The lawyer has to start somewhere and to that he/she needs to have a framework from which questions flow.                                                                                 

What questions come to mind when investigating such a claim for personal injury or death?

  • 1. Was this a rental or did a homeowner own the house?
  • 2. If a rental were there smoke detectors?
  • 3. If there were smoke detectors were they operational?
  • 4. If not, why not?
  • 5. If not operational was there a lease and if there was who's responsibility was it to change or to maintain the batteries?
  • 6. Other than bad batteries did the smoke detectors function properly?
  • 7. If not why not?
  • 8. What was the cause of the fire?
  • 9. If associated with the homeowner or renter was it something the owner did that made the fire likely or to occur?
  • 10. If so what was it?
  • 11. Is there homeowner's or renter's liability insurance?
  • 12. Who is the landlord or homeowner?
  • 13. Did the injured or deceased person contribute to the fire starting?
  • 14. What was the fire's cause and origin?


Seymour, IOWA --- The State Fire Marshal Division was called in to assist with a fire investigation in Seymour, Iowa. The Seymour Fire Department was called at 11:09 p.m., on November 3, 2010, with reports of a fire at 3349 Edison Road.

Two occupants were inside the home when the fire was discovered. One person was able to get out of the house safely, while the other person died. The name of the deceased is not being released pending the notification of family.

The preliminary cause of the fire is undetermined. The structure sustained extensive fire and smoke damage.

In addition to the Seymour Fire Department and the State State Fire Marshal Division, other responding agencies include the Seymour Police Department and First Responders, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Ambulance, Centerville Fire Department, Unionville, Missouri, Fire Department, Allerton Fire Department and the Cincinnati Fire Department.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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