Coordinated rescue efforts from burning home result in lives saved

The exterior of the house pictured above at 405 Second Street NE in Waukon shows evidence of the fire (blackened siding in front of vehicle in photo) that was reported to the Allamakee County Sheriff Dispatch Center through a 9-1-1 call Wednesday evening, December 3 at approximately 10:07 p.m. According to a report from the Waukon Police Department, the 9-1-1 caller reported that two female residents of the house, 87-year-old Marian Heike and her 56-year-old daughter, Val Heike, were trapped within the burning residence. According to further reports, the two residents were able to be rescued from the home through a window broken out by law enforcement after door entryways were found to be inaccessible due to the flames and a blocked doorway. When asked for further identification of those involved with the rescue, Waukon Police Chief Phil Young simply responded, "they know who they are."
Waukon Fire Chief Dave Martin reported that the larger open window visible just to the left of the car in the above photo was the last known location where the Heikes had reportedly been viewed pounding on the window and yelling for help before apparently losing consciousness. He said fire crew members first worked to knock down flames and then entered the residence through that window, conducted a search and located both victims, rescuing them from the burning residence and, in conjunction with the efforts of law enforcement and Emergency Medical Services from Veterans Memorial Hospital, saving their lives. "It all fell into place and came together very well," Fire Chief Martin said of the coordinated efforts of his volunteer fire crew, law enforcement and Emergency Medical Services staff.
Two responding police officers were transported to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released. Both Marian Heike and Val Heike were also transported to Veterans Memorial Hospital, with Val Heike being further airlifted to a larger regional hospital. Their conditions are not being reported at this time but both remain hospitalized as of the printing deadline for this issue.
In addition to the Waukon Police Department, Allamakee County Sheriff Deputies, the Waukon Fire Department, Veterans Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services and the Iowa State Patrol all responded to the blaze and assisted in the life-saving measures. The fire remains under investigation through assistance from the State of Iowa Fire Marshall's Office at this time. Reports indicate that the fire started in the laundry room area of the home, but the exact cause of the fire is not expected to be known until later this week.

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