Updated: city mourns, questions linger after firefighter dies


2/1/15 update: The firefighter has been identified as 37 year Centerville fire veteran Assistant Fire Chief Mike “Coop” Cooper. Services are pending.

Original post:

A firefighter in Centerville is dead today after battling a large fire overnight. A press release from the city of Centerille says that an unnamed firefighter died at his home after being released from the Cowan Industries fire late last night. Neither a cause of death nor the name of the firefighter has been released at this time. We’re told that because of the circumstances, the death is being treated as a line of duty death.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Daily Iowegian, a Centerville newspaper, says that firefighters were first paged at around 7:30 Friday night, and that firefighters were still  on the scene more than 12 hours later. The Iowegian is also reporting that Mutual aid was requested from all Appanoose County fire departments as well as two departments from Wayne County. Firefighters pulled back to defensive positions after learning of two large propane tanks at the building. The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office has been contacted to assist in the investigation.

We’ll have more details as they become available.