Iowa's Darwin Awards Nominee


White Trash Wednesday

I don't think there's anything I can add to this story about an undignified way to die:

CORALVILLE, Iowa -- A man died in a mobile home fire Sunday night that apparently was related to fireworks being shot off inside, authorities said.

A body was found near the rear of the mobile home, Coralville Fire Chief David Stannard said. The identification of the victim was pending, he said.

The fire broke out about 7:15 p.m. and burned quickly, a neighbor said.

Shannon Kacena said a man inside the mobile home had been shooting off fireworks. He opened the door of the home periodically and threw fireworks outside, Kacena said.

One exploded under a car in front of the home, she said. She said she kept hearing fireworks and looked outside again and saw flames coming out of a window.

She called 911, but said the mobile home was engulfed within minutes.

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Coralville is part of a binary town with Iowa City (home of the University of Iowa) and is about 30 miles south of where I live. The local paper ( did not give much more information than what you mentioned above, but did yield one important bit of info (emphasis mine):

"The blaze that killed 37-year-old Joseph Leonard started about 7 p.m. **on the outside of the home** at 3701 Second St., No. 394, in Western Hills Mobile Estates, said Coralville Fire Chief Dave Stannard."

So, at least the fire didn't start inside the trailer.

But this points out reason #2 why I will never live in a mobile home: they are fire-starter logs with plumbing*. At least in my house, I will have a chance to put out a small fire with a fire extinguisher. Not so in a mobile home. It is almost cartoon-like how fast they go up.

*Of course, reason #1 is that they are tornado magnets. Living in Iowa, that is just a bad gamble to take.

Collateral damage from (say) the fireworks that exploded under the car, maybe?

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on March 15, 2006 7:54 AM.

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