STEELE, MO -- Two young children were killed inside a burning mobile home in Steele, Missouri Tuesday evening at their babysitter's house. This deadly fire makes the 19th and 20th fire fatalities in Missouri this year and it's only February. It also just adds to the list of fatal fires that did not have smoke alarms.
"It's devastating. I couldn't even really put it into words," says William Campbell, the grandfather of both children killed in the fire.
Campbell is the grandfather of both 5 year old Kimberly Jarrod and 1 year old Jaden Grissom. Today, he says it doesn't feel like reality that they are both gone.
"Kimberly was always giving everybody hugs and telling everybody she loved them. She was always telling everybody she loved them, just happy-go-lucky," says Campbell.
But their lives ended Tuesday afternoon. The mobile home in Steele, Missouri was quickly engulfed in flames. The fire apparently started in the kitchen and left only seconds for those inside to escape. The babysitter and another young boy made it out ok. Firefighters were unable to get to the 2 sisters and within a matter of minutes, the home and two young lives were gone.
On Wednesday, the home was leveled after fire and police officials finished their investigation. One thing they noticed is that the home did not have any smoke detectors.
"It's a big price to pay to learn that a fire extinguisher doesn't work or a fire alarm doesn't work," says Campbell.
As for now, Campbell says they have only memories to hold on to.
"You couldn't ask for 2 better grandchildren. Together, we have 8 grandchildren and we love them all. To lose 2 grandchildren, that's not something a grandparent ever expects to have to do," adds Campbell.
Pemiscot County Investigators conducted interviews Tuesday night, but fire officials say they don't expect any criminal charges to be filed, as it is believed the fire was an accident. Also, a fund has been set up at the Bank Star of the Bootheel to help cover funeral expenses for the family.
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