Missouri House Fire Kills 4 Family Members Including Teen Girl and Her 2 Grandparents, Injures 2 Others

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Four people and a family dog are dead and two others injured after a fire erupted at a home in De Soto, Missouri, this weekend.

The blaze started around 2 a.m. on Sunday and claimed the lives of Joe Detter, 76, and his wife, 74-year-old Frances Detter, according to KMOV.

The couple’s daughter, 37-year-old Sherri Detter, was also killed, along with their 18-year-old granddaughter, Kari Detter.

The two survivors were Kari and Sherri’s boyfriends, the outlet said. The two men escaped the burning home by hopping out of second-story windows, family members told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. One of them remains hospitalized.

Joe was remembered as a “great friend” by the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.

“We are so saddened and at a loss of words to hear of the loss of Joe Detter, his wife and granddaughter,” they said in a statement to KMOV. “He has been an employee of the City of Hillsboro for many years as the building inspector.”

“He was a great friend to many and will be missed terribly,” they added. “Our condolences and hearts go out to the Detter family.”

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Joe and Frances’ son, James Detter, told the Post-Dispatch that his father was known around the area for being friendly and willing to assist anyone in need.

“He helped everybody. There isn’t a person in this town he hasn’t done something for,” James — who is one of the couple’s seven children — told the outlet.

“He is going to be missed by everyone,” he continued. “He is going to missed everywhere.”

Kari’s boyfriend told James he was asleep on the second floor of the house when the fire broke out, and woke up to find the stairs leading to the first floor had been blocked off by the flames. He was forced to jump from the window to make his escape.

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Unfortunately, Kari was hesitant to leap to the ground.

“She wouldn’t jump,” James said Kari’s boyfriend told him. “He looked up and she was gone.”

The two men called 911 for help once they made it outside, KMOV reported. The family’s dog also died in the blaze.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office and by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, according to Missourinet. A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.

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