CEDAR FALLS – A Cedar Falls woman was taken to the hospital after she was found unconscious in her locked, burning home, while a locked car with two cats, pet medication and food idled outside.

Melissa Jensen, 42, was found unconscious about 20 feet from the front door of her home on Feb. 14, according to Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Bostwick. She was taken to Sartori Hospital in Cedar Falls with unspecified injuries.

Cedar Falls public safety officers and firefighters responded to a 5 p.m. call from a neighbor about a fire at 2216 Victory Drive, a single-story home.

Crews arrived to find the house door locked and had to force entry, Bostwick said. They also found a locked, idling car with two cats, pet medication and food inside, according to Bostwick.

Two PSOs and one firefighter forced their way inside and and found Jensen unconscious.

The basement took the brunt of the fire damage, said Bostwick.

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“The home had a pretty good fire going on, and the firefighters had to assist that person out,” said Jeff Olson, Cedar Falls public safety director and police chief.

Olson said firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Bostwick said there had been "over a dozen calls" to that home for service in recent years, but declined to say for what. The State Fire Marshall was called to assist with the investigation.

About 17 firefighters and PSOs were working at the time, and 14 more responded from home for a total of 31 on scene, according to Bostwick.

Olson said public safety officers were the first to arrive on the scene. A combination of firefighters and public safety officers were able to make entry into the home. Smoke billowing from the back of the house could be seen for several blocks before nightfall.

Animal Control and paramedics also were on the scene.

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Copy Editor/Staff Writer

Staff Writer at the Courier

Staff Writer

Staff writer at The Courier 2005 (college intern), 2007-2012, 2015-present. Graduate of UNI 2006. Three-time Iowa APME award winner (investigative reporting 2008, lifestyle feature 2016, business feature 2018)

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