MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa — The father of a Missouri Valley man who was thought to be missing following a Thursday morning fire said his son is dead. The remains of another body also were found.
Ed Murray, Missouri Valley police chief, said the bodies were burned beyond recognition and that autopsies would be performed for identification.
But Gary Stevens of Mondamin said his son, Chad Stevens, 44, was found dead in the debris of the fire, which began around 7:45 Thursday morning at CTI Electronics, 204 Erie St. Crews had the blaze extinguished by 10:50 a.m.
Gary Stevens said he was informed of his son’s death by members of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office. He said he was told the charred remains of two people were found in the building. No information about the second victim has been released.
The business, which focused on computer sales and service, is owned by Tracy Scott. The business appeared to be a total loss, Missouri Valley Fire Chief Caleb Wohlers said.
Scott, who has owned the building for four years, said he has no idea how the fire started.
“A friend called me and said my building was on fire,” Scott said. “The next thing I know, my shoes were on and I was out the door.”
Local residents spent most of Thursday trying to locate Chad Stevens, who lived in an apartment within the building. Scott said Chad Stevens worked for him, doing night security.
Chad Stevens’ friend Amber McCall of Missouri Valley said she last spoke with him early Thursday morning when he was trying to find a ride to Walmart.
McCall said Stevens had plans to spend Thanksgiving at her home. She said Stevens was supposed to fry a turkey for the traditional meal she had planned.
“I’m praying to God (Chad) shows up at my house for Thanksgiving,” McCall said before news of his death had been announced.
Chad Stevens has a daughter, but Gary Stevens did not have information about her.
The blaze was difficult for firefighters because of the age of the building and recyclable electronics inside the business, Wohlers said.
Missouri Valley Assistant Police Chief Lee Lange said investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office would help the Missouri Valley Fire Department with the investigation of the fire.
Assistance was provided by fire departments from Crescent, Logan, Magnolia, Modale, Mondamin, Neola and Woodbine in Iowa and Blair and Fort Calhoun in Nebraska.