(COUNCIL BLUFFS) A body was found in a home destroyed by a fire in Council Bluffs Monday afternoon.
Council Bluffs Fire Chief Alan Byers said they were called to 46 Norwood Drive just before 3:15 pm where heavy fire was coming from both floors of the two-story home and extending to two other residences.
“Neighbors were telling us that they saw someone go into the house and didn’t see anyone leave,” said Byers. “We knocked down the fire and crews did find a male victim deceased in the second floor master bedroom. The victim has been identified as 43-year-old Mark Vanderwoude.”
Byers said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but preliminary investigation is listing the fire as suspicious.
“There were a couple previous incidents at the residence, not involving fire, but previous incidents,” explained Byers. “A large amount of damage was done to the structure in a short amount of time from the fire and we believe we’ve also found that there was an accelerant actually used to start the fire.”
Byers said an autopsy will be performed on Vanderwoude to determine the cause of death.
“Sad deal, but I believe that the victim may have played a part in starting the fire and that will play itself out here as we go along,” said Byers.
A woman and two children also live at the home, but they were at work and school when the fire occurred.