Deadly Flames: Woman’s Husband Dies in Valley City House Fire

A deadly house fire in Valley City takes the life of one and injures another.

People say they can’t believe that an early morning fire took the life of one of their neighbors.

Arlene Kirschenman escaped the deadly flames but ended up losing much more than her home.

“There was smoke coming out of virtually all of the windows,” says neighbor, Leon Pytlik.

Firefighters responded to a house fire just before 3 a.m. on the 200 block of 6th Street Northwest.

Homeowner Arlene Kirschenman was able to make it out of the house with non–life threatening injuries.

“She was outside and I could see her standing down the street away. The police informed me that there were possibly an individual in there,” says Valley City Fire Chief Gary Retterath.

First responders found the body of Arlene’s husband, Arthur, in the basement.

Nearly 20 volunteer firefighters battled back the flames until they were able to contain the blaze.

Ratterath says, “It was a tough fire; it got in the walls, into the attic. So it took us a lot of time to take care of the situation.”

Friends and neighbors say they are still in shock about what happened this morning.

And that for someone to die in a fire rarely happens in Valley City.

Neighbor Leon Pytlik, has known the Kirschenmans for more than 20 years and remembers how Arthur enjoyed his retirement.

Pytlik explains, “Art was always out in the yard you know shoveling snow or mowing grass or whatever and took in a lot of pride in their house.”

As the news spread, many in Valley City spent time reflecting on how big of blow this is for the community.

“It’s all I’ve been thinking about is those people because it’s just great people. And I just hope everything turns out okay for Arlene now,” says Pytlik.

Chief Retterath says the fire might have started in the basement and the cause is still under investigation.

Categories: Video