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Developing: Woman arrested after Mason City fire; $70K in damage (photos & MCFD report)

This news story was published on April 22, 2014.
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MASON CITY – A North Iowa woman is in jail after a fire near downtown Mason City.

Mason City police, fire, and Cerro Gordo deputies responded to a fire at 231 West State Street in Mason City at about 7:50 PM Monday evening. Firefighters used force to enter the front door of the dwelling, where there are four apartments. A fire was on the second floor, in an apartment there. Approximately $70,000 worth of damage was done ($60K to property, $10K to contents). The multi-family dwelling is owned by Russ Hardy and was recently remodeled.

No one was inside the apartment at 231 West State Street but there were occupants in the other apartments in the building. No one was injured during the fire.

A woman, Jacque Sue Paulsen, age 32 formerly of Clear Lake, was arrested after the fire and charged with first degree felony arson and taken to the Cerro Gordo County Jail. she is being held on $25,000 cash or surety bond.

A class “B” felony is punishable up to 25 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Paulsen has previously been charged with a swath of felonies and other serious crimes, ranging from drug charges to theft to assault.


Paulsen, Jacque Sue

Fire damage, second floor

Fire damage, second floor

Front door gone

Front door gone


What's left of front door

What’s left of front door

Front door still in front yard

Front door still in front yard

West State and Jefferson Ave.

West State and Jefferson Ave.

From Mason City Fire Department:

Department was dispatched for a structure fire at the corner of W state and Jefferson,
dispatch advised that smoke detector had been sounding for ten minutes prior to the call for
assistance. All units listed above responded code three from fire headquarters without
incident or delay. Upon arrival heavy black smoke was showing from the second floor window on
side D of the structure. The building was a two story apartment complex with two apartments
occupying the down stairs and two apartments occupying the second story, the fire apartment
(231) had a entrance on the first story with a interior stairway to the second floor. The
fire apartment was the second apartment from the west side or the AD corner of the structure.
A state street command was established an 11 person offshift from third battalion was
requested and a 360 walk around was conducted upon arrival by the IC. During Size up a 1 3/4
preconnect was stretched from 2315 engine to the A side of the structure, a fast attack was
ordered by IC and 2315 crew forced entry into the fire apartment (231). The fire was starting
to exit around the apartment door and the majority of the fire was knocked down by 2315 crew
at the entrance to the apartment. A search of the remaining three apartments was ordered with
no occupants found, all clear of those apartments announced. The electricity and gas to the
structure was shut off and secured by 2341 driver. A back up line was stretched to the A side
of the structure from engine 2315. A hydrant was secured at the corner of W state and
Jefferson for water supply used in engine 2315. The second story was laddered on side A and
side D of the structure. 2315 crew extinguished the fire in the entry way and advanced to the
second story using the interior stairway, PPV ventilation was started using a window on the
second story as the exhaust. 2315 crew encountered light smoke and did extinguish a small
amount of fire on division 2 of the structure. 2315 crew did a primary search on division 2
and did announce an all clear on division 2 in the fire apartment. Extension into the attic
and surrounding apartments was checked with nothing found. DC Mark Christiansen and assistant
FM Beemer were requested for investigation prior to overhaul, for suspicious location of the
fire. The investigation was started and overhaul was allowed to be conducted on division 1
and division 2 of the structure. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation at
this time, with the assistance of the Mason City Police Department. The building was being
secured by the landlords employee, after the investigation was finished, the employees name
was Ken Winkowitsch. All companies returned to service at the times noted on the report.
Fire appears to have been intentionally set, Investigators from PD requested and responded.


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3 Responses to Developing: Woman arrested after Mason City fire; $70K in damage (photos & MCFD report)

  1. Avatar

    2FUNNY Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Hey that’s #SteveSchukei and #SueSchukei daughter LOL!! Go buy a car from #SchukeiChevrolet and they won’t send this girl to burn your house down. You didn’t get approved for the loan your house it torched LOL LOL!!! @Joe you’re right… no bueno for this chica!!

  2. Avatar

    Joe Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Rehab must not of worked for this one.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      @Joe-she has had some issues that is for sure. Not to worry, the judges will turn her loose in a month or so. She is probably already out on bail.