Power strip caused Iowa house fire that killed 4 children, injured several others

A house fire in northern Iowa that killed four children and injured several others was caused by an electrical power strip, according to fire officials.

The Mason City Fire Department responded to a house fire just after 5 a.m. on Wednesday at the 500 block of Washington Avenue North. When crews arrived, they saw flames coming from the first and second floors of the home. 

Firefighters searched the house and found four children who were still inside. Officials identified the children as 12-year-old John Michael Mcluer, 10-year-old Odin Thor Mcluer, 6-year-old Drako Mcluer and 3-year-old Phenix Mcluer. 

The children were transported to a hospital and later pronounced dead. The causes of death is still under investigation by the medical examiner’s office, according to officials. 

Two people in the house, a 55-year-old and an 11-year-old, evacuated before first responders arrived. Both suffered burn-related injuries and were transported to a hospital. Their current conditions are unknown, according to officials. 

Fire crews reported two minor injuries from the incident.

The fire department released an update on Thursday stating the fire was ruled as an accident caused by an electrical power strip on the main floor but did not provide details on how the strip caused it. 

Community response

The children attended the Mason City Community School District. The district posted about their death on Thursday saying:

"All of us at Mason City Community Schools are shaken by the loss of our students and extend our deepest sympathies to the family and those closest to them. The district counseling staff, Central Rivers AEA crisis team members, and other local agencies will be on hand today and will be embedded within each district building impacted by this tragedy for those who may need additional support. In addition, students will be encouraged to utilize crisis team member support as needed."

The school set up a support fund through a local church for the 11-year-old who survived. A Gofundme has also been set up for the family and has raised over $37,000 as of Friday afternoon.

The Ventura Fire and Rescue Department posted their thoughts are with the crew of the Mason City Fire Department after they responded to the deadly house fire, saying:

"Our thoughts and prayers tonight are with our brothers and sisters of the Mason City Fire Department. They responded to a home on fire this morning to pull 6 family members from the house including some fatalities. We pray for the first responders who grieve along with their families and for the family whose lives will be forever changed."