[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

Stockport fire takes four lives: 1986


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 9/27/2022 at 18:18:12

By Mary Ovrom
and Mike Augspurger
Courier writers
and The Associated Press

Stockport fire takes four lives

STOCKPORT - Tragedy again struck the Carrico family of Stockport when Carolyn Carrico and three of her four children died in an early Monday morning fire in Stockport.

Carrico, 30, her stepson Jason, 11, and her sons, Sean, 6, and Timothy, 4, died in the fire which barely marked the exterior of her home in this northeast Van Buren County town.

All four died of smoke inhalation, Van Buren County Medical Examiner James T. Worrell said.

Carrico's husband, Joel, died in October of kidney failure.

The only survivor of the family is Joey Carrico, 9, who was staying overnight with his grandparents, Wayne and Donna Carrico of Stockport.

The victims were wearing night-clothes and apparently were asleep when the fire broke out, authorities said. The bodies of Carrico, Jason and Timothy were found by the front door. Sean's body was on the bed in his room.

No smoke detectors were in the home which the family was renting .

The fire apparently was started by a pinched electric cord near the deep freeze, said State Fire Marshal Mike Hiles and Fred Chapuis, Stockport's fire chief.

The electrical short started a smoldering fire which apparently spread up the wall paneling and into the attic, filling the home with smoke.

Authorities said, too, that a malfunctioning front door lock may have prevented the family's escape.

"There's no doubt she was trying to get her kids out and was overcome by smoke," Hiles said. " The latched door probably prevented their escape."

Hiles said Carrico had told other peopel that the was hard to open and shut.

"It looks like they collapsed just before they got out the door," said Eldon Briden, the home's owner. "Whether the door didn't work or what, we don't know."

Firemen said the house was full of smoke when they arrived shortly after 6 a.m. when Harold Giberson, a neighbor, called in the news of the blaze.

Chapuis and Ralph Rubey arrived at the scene first. They kicked in the front door and discovered the three bodies. A futile effort was made to revive the victims by the First Responders and the Van Buren County ambulance crew.

The 1 1/2 story frame home sustained extensive interior damage.

Briden said the home was an older structure which had been moved from the country into Stockport. It was completely rewired in 1973 or 1974, he said.

Relatives said the Carrico's husband, Joel, died last Oct. 19 at the age of 30 of a heart attack stemming from two kidney transplant operations at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

The couple had been married for about five years before his death. Joey and Jason were his sons from a previous marriage; Sean was adopted; and the couple had Timothy.

"They were real nice kids," said an aunt, Doneen Coffin of Stockport. "They were just normal boys."

Joel Carrico had worked as an electrical products assemblyman in Keosauqua before his kidney troubles, while Carolyn Carrico had been a nurse's aide. She had no been working recently, and the family was living on disability payments, relatives said. The children attended Van Buren Community Elementary School in Stockport.

Dorothy Poole, school secretary, also described the Carrico boys as "good kids."

"They were my neighbors when Sean was 2 years old. He was in kindergarten and, since he knew me, he always thought that was a big deal to come to the office and get his milk ticket," she said, holding back tears.

"I was just so shook up when I heart the news. The whole town was saddened when the father died a few months ago and now this happens," she continued.

Relatives said the family had moved back to this town of 300 last September from Troy, where Carolyn Carrico's parents - Mr. and Mrs. Orin Jarvis - live.

The State Central Bank of Stockport has started a fund drive for Joey Carrico.

Van Buren County authorities said they can remember only one other person dying of a fire in recent years; that death, they said, occured several years ago in Bentonsport.

The service will be at 1:30 p.m. at the Stockport American Legion Hall. (See obituary on page 7.)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
4 in family perish in fire in Stockport

Mother, 3 sons are killed as smoke engulfs house
Of The Register's Davenport Bureau

STOCKPORT, IA. - A mother and three of her children were killed in a house fire here early Monday as tragedy struck the family for the second time in three months.

A sticky door latch may have prevented three of the victims from escaping, fire officials said. The victims were identified as Carolyn Carrico, 30, and her sons, Jason, 11, Sean, 6, and Timothy 4.

Dr. James T. Worrell, Van Buren County medical examiner, said the four died of smoke inhalation.

A fourth child, Joey, 9, was not in the house at the time of the blaze. He has been living with his grandparents, Wayne and Donna Carrico of Stockport.

"He's just in shock right now," said an aunt, Doneen Coffin.

Carrico's husband, Joel, 31, a kidney transplant patient, died of a heart attack Oct. 19.

"The mother was making such a gallant attempt to go on with that family," said Martha Watson, a teacher at Stockport Elementary School where the children were pupils.

"They've had a lot of grief and hardship," added Stockport school principal Fred Parsons.

The cause of the blaze was attributed to an overheated electrical cord in a deep freeze in a small room near the kitchen. The freezer inadvertently had been set on the cord, pinching it and causing it to short and overheat, said Roy Marshall, assistant state fire marshal in Des Moines.

The slow, smoldering fire worked its way up a wood-paneled wall into the attic of the single-story house, said Fred Chapius, chief of the Stockport Volunteer Fire Department. The fire was reported shortly after 6 a.m. by a neighbor, Harold Giberson, who saw smoke coming from the house. Firefighters broke the front door to gain entry to the home.

Damage to the home was extensive. Firefighters returned briefly to the home Monday afternoon after the blaze began smoldering again.

**No smoke detectors found in home8**

Worrell said Carolyn, Jason and Timothy were found near the front door. Sean was in his bed. All were wearing nightclothes. Chapuis said firefighters tried to revive the victims with cardiopulmonary resuscitation but were unsuccessful.

The deaths shocked the town of 340 people.

"It's such a terrible tragedy", said Dorothy Poole, a secretary at the Stockport Elementary School. Teachers tried to explain the deaths to children.

"They re??????? something has happened, but they don't realize the seriousness," second-grade teacher Neva Carter said of the younger children.

Joe and Carolyn Carrioc had been high school sweethearts at Van Buren Community High Schoo in Keosauqua but went separate ways, said Joel's sister, Jeanie Rupe. They married about 5 1/2 years ago after their first marriages ended in divorce, she said.

Joel Carrico had worked as a production worker in Keosauqua until health problems forced him to quit. He received a kidney transplant about three years ago, but complications developed and the kidney had to be removed, relatives said. He underwent a second operation in November 1984. That operation appeared to be a success, but he died of a fatal heart attack in October.

The family's income came from Social Security disability payments resulting from Joel's lengthy health problems, relatives said.

"They did the best with what they had," said Joan Turner, Joel's sister.

Carolyn had worked as nurses' aide but was not employed at the time of her death, relatives said.

Joel and Carolyn Carrico and their children lived with Carolyn's parents, Oren and Lovetta Jarvis of Troy, until July when the rented the old, two-story bedroom house in Stockport. No smoke detectors were found in the home, fire officials said.

Marshall said a house fire has not claimed four lived in Iowa since 1982.

Carolyn Carrico's survivors also include a sister, Elizabeth Yeoman of Ottumwa; and a brother Russell Jarvis of Troy.

Services will be 1:30 Wednesday at the Stockport Christian Church

Source: "Scrapbook 1986 - 1988", Pgs. 297 to 300,
Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, Van Buren Co., IA


Van Buren Documents maintained by Rich Lowe.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]