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Police identify body found in Estherville, IA house fire

Estherville House Fire, Jan. 2

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) - Authorities in Emmet County, Iowa have identified a body found inside a house fire that occurred back on Jan. 2.

A release from the Estherville Police Department says 69-year-old Paul Ostendorf has been identified as the body recovered from the early morning fire.

According to officials, a neighbor reported a large fire at the 1400 block of North 6th Street at 3:52 a.m.

Upon arrival, fire crews found the home fully involved with the fire, with flames coming out of multiple windows. The Estherville Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire, however, the house was heavily damaged.

During the investigation into the fire, it was learned that the house was most likely occupied and that the homeowner may be inside. The home was owned and occupied by Ostendorf,

A body was recovered from within the home and taken to the Office of the Iowa State Medical Examiner where it was identified as Ostendorf.

The cause of Ostendorf's death and the cause of the fire has not been determined and the investigation into both remains open.

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Dean Welte

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