Neighbor Alerts Home Occupants Of Fire

Christina Graham (left) and her daughter Gracie (right) hug each other just outside of their destroyed home.

Christina Graham (left) and her daughter Gracie (right) hug each other just outside of their destroyed home.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – A small child and the babysitter may have helped save the lives of three Oskaloosa residents on Monday morning.

Denise Broerman was babysitting a couple of children when the boy she was watching noticed smoke coming from the neighbors house, located at 1009 South 2nd, just after 11am.”I went and I looked and there were flames. So I sent him [young boy] back into the house,” said Broerman. She then proceeded to bang on the residence that was on fire. “I said, get out, get out,” Broerman said to the occupants. “That’s what anyone would do,” said Broerman of her alerting the neighbors to the fire.

Broerman said that fire was coming out of the back of the garage. “There was a little window there, and the fire was shooting out,” said Broerman.

Broerman then called 911. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 11:04 am.

Three people were inside the residence at the time the fire started. One female adult and two children.

“When we arrived with the first engine we had heavy fire coming out of the garage,” said Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff. A pickup located in front of the garage was also on fire.

Reports from the Oskaloosa PD stated that there were possibly people still located within the residence. “We had one crew go in and do a basement search,” and found no one in that location. Two other crews searched the main floor of the home for occupants. Firefighters did locate a family dog that had succumb to the smoke. According to family reports, the other family dog survived by hiding under a table in the basement.

Neff said that no cause of the fire had been determined when this article was published.

Fourteen members of the Oskaloosa Fire Department helped on the scene, with Cedar Township Fire also helping out.

The home was occupied by Blake and Christina Graham and their two children. Blake and Christina were married just two weeks ago.

According to a page set up to help the family recover from the fire, the family lost everything including their truck. You can find that page by clicking on this LINK.




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