KANSAS CITY, MO. |
Four children between the ages of 2 and 5 died late on Tuesday when a fire swept through a condominium building in the central Missouri town of Osage Beach, fire officials said on Wednesday.
"We’ve had fire loss before, and many types of tragedies, but to lose four children under the age of 5 in one call is something my staff will struggle with," Osage Beach Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer said.
The children were believed to be related, possibly cousins, but not siblings, Dorhauer said. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the blaze, he said.
Fire was billowing from the roof of the condo when firefighters arrived, Dorhauer said.
The children, found unconscious in bedrooms, were pulled from the building by firefighters and rushed to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead, Dorhauer said. An adult in the same unit fled and went back in but failed to rescue the children before he got out safely, he said.
Firefighters rescued two adults in a third-floor condo in the eight-unit building, he said.
Osage Beach is a lake resort area about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Von Ahn)