On November 21, 2023, at approximately 2:15 a.m., personnel from the Ottumwa Fire Department and the Ottumwa Police Department responded to 502 Wabash on a report of a house fire.
While emergency personnel were responding to the call, the resident of 502 Wabash called 911 and reported that she was trapped inside the burning residence.
When police arrived they were able to break out a bedroom window and pull the victim out of the residence. The victim was identified as Patricia Bird, age 84, of 502 Wabash. Bird was transported to the hospital where she was treated and released.
An investigation into the fire was conducted by the Ottumwa Police Department, Ottumwa Fire Department, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of the State Fire Marshall’s Office.
The fire investigation identified that two pet dogs died as a result of the fire.
On November 28, 2023, at approximately 2:45 p.m., George Edward Dennison, age 67, also of 502 Wabash, Ottumwa, was arrested in relation to this incident and charged with the following crimes:
• Arson 1st Degree, a Class “B” Felony
• Animal Abuse (2 Counts), both Aggravated Misdemeanors
George Dennison is the son of Patricia Bird and was living with Bird in her residence when the fire took place.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.