The Carthage Fire Department returned to the scene of Monday night's fatal fire early Tuesday morning after smoke started to again come from the roof of the Carthage Square building. Fire Chief Eric Shuman says crews plan to monitor the scene Tuesday for any hot spots.
The Hancock County Sheriff's office reports Michael D. Bentzinger, 63, died in the fire. Shuman confirms he is the father of Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger.
The fire marshal left the scene early Tuesday morning following an investigation. The sheriff's office says an propane heater appeared to have caused the fire.
Shuman says Carthage fire crews were called to a fire at the Benjamin Moore Paint/Bentzinger Home Supply located on the Carthage Square at about 10:30 p.m. Monday night. Keokuk and Hamilton fire departments also responded to the fire.
Shuman says the fire started near the back of the home supply building. Crews contained the fire to the second floor until the floor collapsed. Shuman says the building at 557 Main Street is a total loss.
He says there were many challenges to this fire.
"It was a hard fire to get to," Shuman said. "The weather was a real issue tonight. Things kept freezing up on us."