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1512 Belle Avenue
Case Number: 1984-10311
November 24, 1984
John R. Green Jr., 3, and his 18-month-old brother, Mark R. Green, died from injuries sustained in a fire at their Davenport, Iowa home on Saturday, November 24, 1984.
The boys were in an upstairs bedroom at the 1512 Belle Avenue wood-frame house — their mother, 6-year-old sister and an aunt in a downstairs bedroom — when two explosions near the home’s front door set the house ablaze just past noon.
The boys’ mother, Deborah “Tara” Green,and aunt screamed for the children to get out of the house, and although a 6-year-old daughter in the home’s kitchen safely exited through the back door, the boys’ mother was unable to get upstairs to rescue her two sons.
Davenport Police Sgt. Allen Sylvia entered the home through the back door and crawled through the kitchen toward the living room in attempts to rescue the boys. When it reached the point where Sylvia was “cooking,” Davenport firefighters pulled the heroic officer out by his ankles and treated him for smoke inhalation.
John Green Jr., who died of smoke inhalation, was pronounced dead at the scene. His little brother Mark passed away around 3:30 a.m. Sunday at University Hospitals in Iowa City.
According to the Davenport Fire Department District Chief Art Kenyon, the fire started in two places – just outside the front of the house and inside the front door – just after the explosion was heard, the Quad-City Times reported in an Feb. 12, 2018 follow-up case file report.
Kenyon said at the time that firefighters looked for a gasoline can while they cleared the debris but could not find one. Still, arson was suspected, reported the Quad-City Times.
Anyone with information about this unsolved double homicide is asked to contact the Davenport Police Department at (563) 326-6125 or leave an anonymous tip on the city’s mobile apps “CityConnect Davenport, IA” or CrimeReports by Motorola.”