Man dies in Ottumwa house fire

OTTUMWA – A 74-year-old man died in a house fire Sunday in Ottumwa.

William Theodore Beall was pronounced dead at 7:45 p.m. Sunday from burns he received in the fire earlier that afternoon.

The Ottumwa Fire Department responded at 12:10 p.m. to a single-family residential structure house fire at 1006 Tuttle St. The call indicated the house was “heavily involved with fire,” according to a news release from the Ottumwa Fire Department.

The first fire engine on the scene arrived within four minutes of the initial dispatch and contained three firefighters. Upon arrival, they found a male victim, later identified as Beall, just outside the front door. He was quickly moved to safety to receive medical treatment while firefighters attempted to put out the blaze.

The second responding fire engine with three personnel arrived approximately two minutes after the first and began assisting with water supply and fire suppression. A second alarm was called for and six additional off-duty firefighters responded.

Beall was taken by ambulance to the Ottumwa Regional Health Center, which transferred him to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ burn center.

Firefighters extinguished the flames at 3:30 p.m., but by then the fire had done so much damage that the house was judged a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Ottumwa Fire Department and the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Ottumwa Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Ottumwa Police Department, Ottumwa Regional Mobile Intensive Care Services and the Wapello County Emergency Management Agency.