BOONE, Iowa — The man who lives across the street from where the fire happened told us off camera that he happened to be up around 12:35 Thursday Morning and glanced out the window. That’s when River Rat Phipps saw that his neighbor’s house, on the 700 block of Lily Lane, was on fire. So, Phipps ran outside, pulled out a pistol, fired off two rounds, and began yelling for his neighbor, but he didn’t hear anything in response.
So, Phipps’ wife called 911 to report the fire.
“Ogden Fire, Boone Fire, and Boone County Sheriff`s Office and other various first responders, Boone County Search and Rescue, they responded to the fire,” said Detective Andy Godzicki, with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. “Once they got the fire under control, they were able to determine that there was a body inside the residence.”
The body was taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner for autopsy and identification. The name of the victim has not yet been released. Detective Godzicki said the man who lived at the residence was in his late 60’s or early 70’s.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
“Due to the severity of the damage, we may never have a true determination,” said Detective Godzicki. “But, it’s our understanding that he was using wood to heat the residence. There was a fireplace and we confirmed with family members that he was actively using that to keep his residence warm.”
There were several dogs that also lived at the residence.
“I was told by a family member that there was 15 dogs total here,” said Amy Laube with the Boone Veterinary Hospital. “And, I think we`ve accounted for eight of them that were deceased, and two live ones and we aren’t sure about the remaining ones yet, if they were in the fire or if they got out and are just hiding, because they’re scared.”
Laube wanted to come out to the scene and see if she could help out.
“I reached out to the Humane Society in Boone and AHeinz57,” said Laube. “And, they`re both gonna be coming here and we`re gonna try to maybe set some live traps for the dogs that did make it and see if we can get them in somewhere warm.”