The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 9, 2011

Body found at hotel ID’d

Smoke inhalation from fire suspected cause of death

OTTUMWA — Investigators have released the name of a man who died Wednesday at a local motel.

Frederick Eaton, 48 of Ottumwa, was found by Ottumwa Fire Department personnel after they received word of a fire around 11 a.m. at the Royal Rest Motel on Roemer Avenue.

Firefighters discovered a small but smoky fire in one of the motel rooms, according to a statement from the city of Ottumwa Public Information Office.

The OFD confirmed on Thursday that the cause of the fire was “an improperly discarded cigarette.”

Though a local firefighter said he suspects the death came as a result of smoke inhalation, investigators say the official cause of death remains undetermined pending an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

Frederick Eaton’s obituary is in today’s paper.

Dangerous time for fires

A second smoking-related death this year prompted a reminder from Ottumwa’s new fire investigator.

Deputy Chief Cory Benge is Ottumwa’s fire marshal. He said smokers need to make certain their cigarette is out before they lay down for a nap.

“When we leave [the scene] of a fire, we don’t just go when there’s no more smoke, we make sure the fire is out,” he said.

Smokers need to do that, too. And placing the butt somewhere besides an ash tray can be dangerous as well. In the most recent case, the cigarette rolled off a table onto some clothing, which, after catching fire, lit the table on fire, too.

In the previous smoking related fire death, a patient may have become complacent, thinking they’d never had a problem smoking before, even though they were on oxygen. The fire marshal said the patient had a sign on their door that read, “No smoking. Oxygen in use.”

Smoking while using oxygen led to their death, Benge said.  

He said he shared these examples because they could help save a life.

“We hate to see fire-related deaths,” he said.

Anything else that could help Ottumwans?

“Yes, actually, now, with the weather getting cold, we [worry about] space heaters; every year we have fires related to heaters,” Benge said. “Turn them off before you go to bed, keep them three feet away from combustibles, and make sure it’s the kind that turns off if tipped over.”

This also makes a very good time to go check the smoke detectors, he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police to parents: check kids' online activities BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield police chief says the arrests of nine men in connection with sexting a teenage girl underscores the need for parents to keep an eye on their children online. Chief Shawn Armstrong said cases involving one or two people are

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT birthday rumble -T -M Age 106, still ready to rumble OTTUMWA — With the stories flowing, Celma Birdsall had the ride of her life Thursday. "She shared a lot of memories," said her chauffeur for the day, Dennis Parrish. Birdsall has built up a lot of stories over the 106 years she's been around. After h

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook