MASON CITY, IOWA — An early Wednesday morning house fire that killed four children and injured two more people in Mason City originated in an electrical power strip on the main floor of the home. John Michael McLuer, 12; Odin Thor McLuer, 10; Drako McLuer, 6; and Phenix McLuer, 3, were killed in the fire. John Michael McLuer, 55, and Ravan Dawn McLuer, 11, survived the fire but suffered burn wounds.
Firefighters report that the family home was completely engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene just after 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday. In a press release, Mason City Fire Chief Erik Bullinger said the fire originated with an electrical power strip and the fire has been ruled accidental.
Power strips and extension cords can easily become fire hazards if they are overloaded with too many devices or devices that use too much power. A guide to power strip safety from MidAmerican Energy includes this reminder: “Only use power strips for low-voltage electronics. Overloading a power strip can create a fire hazard.” They also warn that if a power strip is hot to the touch, it should be unplugged immediately.