On November 25th, shortly before 3 PM the Grinnell Fire Department responded to a report of a lot of smoke between Highway 6 and 20 th Street west of Grinnell. Firefighters responded and found a fast moving grass fire just west of 101 Highway 6. As firefighters attacked the fire they located a fire victim at the point of origin.
The victim, identified as 86-year-old Dr. Bernhard Wiltfang, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fire burned approximately 40 acres and 70 hay bales. Grinnell Fire was on scene for three-and-a-half hours and was assisted on scene by Gilman Fire, Kellogg Fire, Midwest Ambulance, Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.
Both the fire and the fatality appear to have been accidental in nature.