Huxley Father Dies Trying To Save Son

HUXLEY, Iowa --A father died, two teenage daughters escaped on their own and rescuers saved a mother and son after a home in Huxley caught fire early Sunday morning.

Rescue crews were called to a house with smoke coming out at 307 Sycamore Boulevard just after 5:30 a.m. Officials say the house was full of smoke and flames when they arrived.

"If you look from the front of the house, obviously, doesn’t show very much. But if you go in back, the back part of the house is completely destroyed," says Huxley Sergeant Joe Marchesano.

Investigators pulled the mother, father and teenage boy from the home. They say the parents were trying to get their autistic son, 17, out of a bedroom when all three became trapped.

Crews later took the son to the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The father, Brett Van Ersvelde, 48, died. Two first responders were also injured. Huxley police officer Jacque Gloede and Story County Sheriff's deputy Matt Massaro sustained minor injuries to their hands and arms when they tried to pull family members from the home.

The fire marshal believes the fire began the kitchen but hadn't determined the cause.