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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Tuesday fire badly burns Spencer man

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A 79-year-old Spencer man is being treated for severe burns following a Tuesday afternoon fire.

Verle Gustoff was engulfed in flames as a result of the incident at 2580 390th Street south of Spencer, according to Clay County Sheriff Randy Krukow.

"The flames extinguished and Gustoff was able to call family members, who responded and transported him to Spencer Municipal Hospital for treatment," Krukow said.

Gustoff was later life-flighted to the Nebraska Medical Burn Unit in Omaha.

At about 6:20 p.m., the Clay County Communications Center was first advised that an individual had possibly suffered severe burns and was being treated at the Spencer facility. When hospital personnel confirmed the injuries, an investigation was initiated.

"At this time, it appears the injuries were self-inflicted, but no additional information is available," Krukow said. "The Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office has been notified and the investigation is continuing."

Krukow's office was assisted by the Spencer Police Department and Dickens Fire Department.


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I wish him well and his family.

-- Posted by acerdj on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 6:54 AM

Thank you SPD for putting that right out there... so if a person hung themselves those injuries would also be self inflicted, but in cases where that has happened I do not recall the papers giving out those details. Just don't think the whole town needed to know that. Thank you for the well wishes...

-- Posted by hgusto on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 12:40 PM

This is ridiculous. It should not be legal to disclose personal information like this.

-- Posted by emileeab on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 1:05 PM

I agree with hgusto, some things don't need to be released to the public,especially when it sounds like its an ongoing investigation.

There are other issues that happen in this town that the PD doesn't report on at all (and definitely should) but they seemed to single him out here and say, hey everyone he did this to himself, but we are still investigating. Guess it was a slow day for news in town?

Praying for his recovery and his family as in my experience, and my familys, the Gustoffs have been nothing but wonderful people.

-- Posted by iowamom23 on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 1:10 PM

From this story, it appears CC Sheriff's department released the info, not SPD...

-- Posted by muvymatt on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 1:13 PM

My mistake muvymatt, it does look like it was the Sheriff's Dept.

But I am going to go with law enforcement in general in this town as far as things being reported/released to the public and other things being totally ignored that should be public knowledge.

-- Posted by iowamom23 on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 1:28 PM

With very few exceptions, calls to the communications center are supposed to be public record, aren't they?

While "self-inflicted" is often used in stories about suicide, it could also mean that the guy was smoking a cigarette and inadvertently ignited fumes, or a spark accidently set off gasoline. Its easy to do.

Did you see the video earlier this week of the guy who was trying to burn someone in a car and instead made himself a crispy critter? Security footage is amazing.

The investigative report may never be made public. It's not always required.

-- Posted by Rake Mucker on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 2:37 PM

i don't mean to sound rude by saying this but i really don't care how this man was injured, I just feel horrible that he was injured and is suffering from these injuries...i have kept him in my prayers every since i heard this happened..it's not up to any of us to judge this man but we should all join together in prayer for him now...we all know there's a lot of power in prayer and i think him and his family could really use it...God Bless this family and heal this man

-- Posted by caseyduke on Fri, Aug 24, 2012, at 12:46 PM

Self inflicted can mean many things, and because of that a reasonable person would not automatically assume that this gentlemen deliberately set himself on fire. In other words, MY first thought would be that he did something that caused himself to be set aflame, but not necessarily on purpose.

I wish him well in his recovery.

-- Posted by Dick Butkus on Fri, Aug 24, 2012, at 8:26 PM

Good ole Spencer Iowa. Where the real issues are, and always have been, hidden. A place where you can be rest assured that the banker's or lawyer's kid ALWAYS gets to be the quarterback. Krukow's biased opinion should not have been reported and thus grounds for his termination. As well as a lawsuit.

-- Posted by Doctlby on Sat, Aug 25, 2012, at 10:21 AM

So a poor choice in words should result in termination and a lawsuit... I'm sure that will fix everything.

-- Posted by Culture Warrior on Sat, Aug 25, 2012, at 12:45 PM

I find it odd that an elected official can make these kinds of predetermined judgements without fear of repercussion yet he failed to inform the public as to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the demise of our former county prosecutor. I, for one, would be interested in the final determination and any toxicology results that apply.

-- Posted by Doctlby on Sat, Aug 25, 2012, at 2:07 PM

caseyduke- I agree totally. I do understand that self inflicted COULD mean other things, but how it was written causes many to assume otherwise. Maybe a better choice in wording would have done better. I keep this family in my prayers.

-- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 5:30 PM


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