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Overheated lamp cord blamed for fatal Iowa house fire

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Four people died when this Lake City, Iowa house burned Tuesday, November 13, 2012. (photo from WHO-TV)

A metal lamp cord stuck in the cushions of a couch overheated and started a fire that killed an Iowa family.

Tyra Pierson, 23, and her 10-month-old son Xavier were killed when their Lake City, Iowa house burned early Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012.  Tyra’s 8-year-old sister, Madison and her three-year-old brother, Wyatt, were also killed in the blaze.

A police patrolman discovered the fire when he was investigating smoke in the downtown area just after 1:30 a.m.  Officer Dana Cook tried to get inside to search for people but the intense heat and smoke from the fire forced him back.

Lake City Fire Chief Mel Alcox said a metal lamp cord got stuck in the couch cushions, overheated and started the couch on fire.  The room where the fire started was under renovation, and the exposed insulation and walls allowed the fire to spread quickly throughout the home.

Alcox said there were also no working smoke detectors in the home.

(thanks to our sister station WHO-TV for contributing background information for this report)