Monroe, IOWA — An Iowa State Patrol Trooper assigned to Governor Branstad’s security detail discovered a house fire Wednesday afternoon while driving the Governor back to Des Moines from an event in Eddyville.
Trooper Greg Steffen and Governor Branstad were driving through Monroe, Iowa on Hwy 163 on Wednesday around 1:50 pm when Trooper Steffen notice black smoke coming from east of the highway. Trooper Steffen could not tell what the source of the smoke was and decided to investigate the situation further. Trooper Steffen turned onto County Road F62 and a short time later, located a house fully engulfed in flames. Trooper Steffen stopped his vehicle a safe distance from the fire and went to check if anyone was in the burning house. Emergency crews had not arrived, so Trooper Steffen located the occupant of the home, an elderly woman who had escaped the fire, but had suffered multiple burns. Trooper Steffen confirmed there were no other individuals in the home and noticed a propane tank behind the house. Trooper Steffen moved the elderly woman and other bystanders to a safe location away from the house and rendered first aid until emergency fire crews arrived.
“Serving on the Executive Protection Unit, our priority is the security of the Governor and his family,” stated Captain Mark Logsdon. “And as a Trooper, our priority is the public safety of all Iowans. Trooper Steffen demonstrated a great example of public service by making sure the Governor was safe and also a citizen of Iowa.”
The Iowa State Patrol reports that Governor Branstad did not exit the vehicle during the incident and remained a safe distance from the fire at all times.