PERRY, Iowa -- On Thursday, a Perry farmhouse continued to smolder hours after the blaze swallowed the life of a four year old boy. "I'm not in the best of health and I would trade in a heartbeat but it doesn't work that way," said Daniel Benshoof who also lived in the home.
Perry, along with Rippey, Grand Junction and Jefferson firefighters battled the massive fire, which began around 8:30 am, for nearly six hours. "When we arrived, the house was completely engulfed. We set up and did our attack as best we could," said Perry Deputy Fire Chief Kevin McLaughlin.
Before fire crews arrived resident and family member Daniel Benshoof tried to help boy's mother, Amber Moore, save her son Harley. "We tried to break an upstairs window but the smoke was so bad we couldn't get up there." While Amber's one month old infant Aiden was safely removed, her ten-year-old Zayne was in school and husband Tony at work, but they had no choice but to watch as the fire claimed Harley's life. "When I saw that the staircase to go upstairs was completely gone, that's when I realized how bad of a fire there was."
The tragedy triggered sadness from not only the family but first responders. Deputy Chief McLaughlin said, "You get into situations and especially this one, a lot of us have kids that we go home to. So yes, it gets to be tough."
A home that can be rebuilt, but a life lost forever. Benshoof said, "He was my buddy. He had a whole life ahead of him."
The Iowa State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire. Four dogs were also killed in the fire.