Tragic Discovery: Woman, Four Children, and Three Dogs Found Dead After “Suspicious” Fire at Missouri Home

Credits: DogTime

Police are investigating a suspicious fire near St. Louis that claimed the lives of a woman and four children in what authorities are calling a “horrific tragedy.” The incident occurred in Ferguson, where firefighters responded to a home engulfed in flames around 4:23 a.m. Monday.

The victims, a woman and four children were found inside the residence. St. Louis County police Sgt. Tracy Panus indicated that the cause of the fire is considered “suspicious” based on evidence found at the property. St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson detectives are assisting in the investigation.

As of Tuesday morning, the victims had not been officially identified by the police. However, relatives and neighbors told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Bernadine Pruessner lived in the home with her four children.

Fire Outbreak at Missouri Home (Credits: People)

Pruessner’s father, Cordell Beache, described his daughter as “an amazing person” with “very bright” children. While he couldn’t confirm their deaths, Beache mentioned not having heard from them since the fire.

Bernadine Pruessner was reportedly close to receiving her doctorate in early childhood education and worked as an assistant professor in the child development department at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois.

Friends and family described her as a positive and uplifting person, and neighbors expressed shock and sadness over the tragic event. Chickens and rabbits at the residence survived the fire, but three dogs did not. An animal rescue organization was on-site to rescue 11 rabbits and two cats.

The Ferguson Police Department posted images of the scene on social media, expressing condolences and asking for prayers for the affected family, first responders, and the community.

Neighbors recounted waking up to flames and attempting to help. Jerry McClure, who called 911, and another neighbor tried to enter the house but were unable to due to intense smoke. Cordell Beache shared that he had spent time with the family the night before the fire, watching two of the children play soccer.

The victims include 9-year-old twins Ellie and Ivy Pruessner, 5-year-old Jackson Spader, and 2-year-old Millie Spader. The tragic incident has left the community in shock, mourning the loss of a beloved educator and her four young children.

The investigation into the suspicious fire continues, with authorities working to determine the circumstances surrounding the devastating event.

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