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Woman’s body found in home destroyed by fire in Burlington

A newspaper delivery person spotted and reported the fire that quickly engulfed a house in Burlington, Iowa.

The body of one person was found in a home that was destroyed by fire in Burlington, Iowa.

A newspaper delivery person spotted the fire in the 1200 block of South 4th Street just after 4 a.m. Tuesday, February 9, 2016.  Police arrived two minutes after the fire was reported, to find heavy flames coming from the windows of the house.  By the time firefighters arrived two minutes later, the house was engulfed in fire.

"While fighting the fire it was discovered that one resident was unaccounted for and may still be in the house," said a statement from Burlington Fire Marshal Mark Crooks.  Fire had spread into the walls and the attic, and the structure was so unstable that firefighters could not safely get to some parts of the house.

It took firefighters from Burlington and West Burlington nearly six hours to extinguish the fire, Crooks said.

Investigators found the body of the resident, 64-year-old Sherry Bess Daniels among debris in the home, according to a statement from the City of Burlington.  Daniels was the only occupant of the home.   An autopsy at the Iowa State Medical Examiner's office showed that Daniels died of smoke inhalation.

The house was considered a total loss.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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