November 9, 2021
The investigation into the cause of the August 24, 2021 fire that claimed the life of 44-year-old Samantha M. Hoenig has concluded. At 7:02 AM Tuesday August 24, 2021, Burlington Police and Fire Departments were called to 1126 Washington Street in Burlington for a reported house fire. Firefighters arrived at 7:04 AM and found a two-story wood frame apartment house with heavy flames showing from the front of the structure. 911 callers reported to dispatchers that there were occupants trapped inside the building. The occupants of apartments one and three were able to escape. The two occupants of apartment one was treated at the scene and transported by ambulance to Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center in West Burlington.
During a search of the building, firefighters located Ms. Hoenig in her second-floor apartment, unit four, and removed her from the building. Ms. Hoenig was treated at the scene and transported to Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center in West Burlington where she later died of her injuries. The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office has determined that Ms. Hoenig died as a result of smoke inhalation and her death is considered accidental.
The four-unit apartment house, owned by Wilson Rentals of Burlington, sustained extensive damage and is considered a total loss. The property is insured. Three of the four units were rented and occupied by a total of four people. Ms. Hoenig’s apartment did have working smoke alarms.
Investigators have determined that the fire originated in apartment one on the first floor. The cause of the fire has been ruled Undetermined as investigators are unable to rule out careless smoking or overloading of electrical extension cords as possible causes.
The investigation was conducted by the Burlington Police and Fire Departments, the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office.