The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 30, 2013

Girl alerts household to fire

OTTUMWA — It was luck that saved the lives of two Ottumwa grandmothers this weekend.

Luck and an 8-year-old girl. If the child hadn’t come to visit Grandma and had not been up late, there was no way the sleeping family would have known the house was on fire.

“They had no working smoke detectors,” said Mike Craff, assistant fire chief for the Ottumwa Fire Department. “If it hadn’t been for this 8-year-old girl being up and awake, I don’t know that they would have made it out of there.”

Assistant chief Rick Kleinman says he knows. They wouldn’t have. Kleinman was at the scene of the fire, which occurred at 531 Osceola Ave. around 3 a.m. Saturday.

“The grand daughter, Zoe, went to spend the night with Grandma. She was in the front room watching TV in the wee hours, and Grandma went into the kitchen and cooked something,” said Kleinman. “The grandmother sat in a recliner and fell asleep. Great-Grandma was asleep in the back room.”

“The fire started in the kitchen,” added Craff, “and that’s where the only entrance was. The other one was blocked.”

Zoe Phillips, 8, had to act fast, both firefighters agreed, for everyone to get out that one door in a room that was starting to burn.

“She was pretty sharp for that age,” Kleinman said. “The granddaughter may have climbed out a window, but Grandma wasn’t climbing out a window, and Great-Grandma wasn’t climbing out any windows. We would have had two fire fatalities. She didn’t panic. She woke them and saved her grandmother and great-grandmother’s lives.”

As it was, the grandmother, who first tried to extinguish the fire, was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation treatment.

The OFD was able to contain the fire to the kitchen.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0801 OTT Five Things logo -L T Five things to do in southeast Iowa OTTUMWA — Celebrate summer in a variety of ways and in several communities this weekend. Many towns are holding festivals, shows and events all centered around the summer theme, so head out while it's warm. 1. "Summer Shorts" is the Davis County Play

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook