Public Safety

Blue Grass fire victims named

'This family has been in our community for more than 40 years'

Blue Grass Police Sgt. Garrett Jahns examines a home on E. Salem Street where four people died in an early Christmas Day  fire in Blue Grass.  Fire, EMS and police from Blue Grass and Buffalo and the Scott County Sheriff's Office responded just after midnight Dec. 25, 2017  (Jeff Cook/Quad-City Times)
Blue Grass Police Sgt. Garrett Jahns examines a home on E. Salem Street where four people died in an early Christmas Day fire in Blue Grass. Fire, EMS and police from Blue Grass and Buffalo and the Scott County Sheriff's Office responded just after midnight Dec. 25, 2017 (Jeff Cook/Quad-City Times)

The Blue Grass Police Department released the names of four family members killed in a Christmas Day house fire.

Killed in the early morning fire were Larry Loose Sr., 71, and Rose Loose, 71, as well as their sons Steven Loose, 36, and Michael Loose, 35, police reported. Michael Loose was able to escape the burning house and was taken to a hospital, but later died.

The cause of the blaze still is under investigation, Sgt. Garrett Jahns said Thursday morning.

“This family has been in our community for more than 40 years,” Blue Grass Mayor Tim Brandenburg said Wednesday. “We have responders who went to school with the kids.”

Brandenburg said an account has been set up at the Blue Grass Savings Bank for the Loose family. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for relatives to travel to Iowa for the funeral.

The Blue Grass fire happened four days after another fatal fire in Eastern Iowa.

Kelsey Clain, 23, and two of her children, Jayden Smead, 5, and Carson Smead, 2, were killed when their mobile home caught fire late Dec. 21. Skylar Smead, 4, and Isabella Smead, 9 months, were taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with critical injuries, but later died.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office reported 2017 is expected to be the deadliest year in more than a decade for fire deaths in Iowa.

The agency reported 38 confirmed fire deaths as of Wednesday, with another 13 expected to go on the list, said Ron Humphrey, special agent in charge of the Office’s Arson and Explosives Bureau.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been above 50,” Humphrey said.

l Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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