(LAKE CITY, IA) Three children and a young mother were killed in a house fire and now investigators and family members are looking for answers.
A Lake City, Iowa home was mobbed with police officers and firefighters on Tuesday, trying to put out a fire that took the lives of four people.
Shortly after 1:45 am, firefighters arrived at the house on 4th and Illinois street to find it completely engulfed in flames and Mel Alcox, the Lake City Fire Chief, says the fire had been burning for a while.
"It had a pretty good start, and we knew when the second floor had gone, if they were upstairs, then we had a problem," said Alcox.
Tyra Faye Pierson was upstairs, and in her arms, her son, 11-month-old Xavier. Tyra's siblings were downstairs, 8-year-old Madison Lynn, and 3-year-old Wyatt Zane. None of them survived.
"It was obvious that she had tried, she was one of them upstairs, and she had tried to, she had gotten out of bed and had gotten down on the floor, in kind of the crawling position. In other words she was trying to get down it, but she had everything against her because all of the smoke with going up there were no doors on the stairway to keep the smoke from going up," said Alcox.
Madison and Wyatt's parents, Tony Pierson and Kim Kraft, were both at work when the fire started.
Family members sat in their cars close by as fire trucks continued to put out hot spots. Firefighters say a ceiling lamp cord caught fire, after being jammed inside a pull out couch.
"They dug long enough to where they finally found it. And unfortunately it had put an overload on two plug-ins and that got the wall on fire," said Alcox.
Firefighters say, the home did not appear to have any smoke alarms.
Family member, Linda Barthman, says she's devastated and the family is still in shock. Neighbors who knew the family say the community won't be the same without them.
"I couldn't even tell you what they are going through, its such a horrible thing that could happen to a family because they were so young, and everybody loved them. They were just good to the town," said long-time neighbor, and family friend, Heather Lloyd.
The Lake City Police Chief says they will be doing an autopsy on all four bodies Wednesday morning to confirm the cause of death.
The Siouxland Red Cross is assisting family members with a place to stay as well as grief counseling.