Four children have died in a condominium fire Tuesday night at the Lake of the Ozarks. Osage Beach Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer says firefighters got there within minutes of the emergency call.
“At 11:21 p.m. the first 911 call came in from Compass Point Condominiums in Osage Beach. Crews arrived on the scene right about 11:30 p.m. They found heavy fire on the fourth floor and through the roof of the unit,” says Dorhauer.
“En route to the call, we were advised of individuals possibly trapped. Crews arriving on the scene found two adults on the third floor in an exterior window. They were able to rescue those two adults,” says Dorhauer.
The father of one of the children was in the residence at the time of the fire. He was able to escape on his own. Dorhauer says the man tried to go back inside to save others, but he was unsuccessful.
Dorhauer says firefighters couldn’t get to the children in time.
“The fire was so intense on the fourth floor that we couldn’t make entry,” says Dorhauer. “We quickly knocked down the fire. We recovered four children.”
Two of the children were 2 years old, one was 4 and the other was 5. They were cousins and there to celebrate the birthday of one of the children.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Some of the occupants told investigators that they awoke to the sound of smoke detectors blaring. Dorhauer says there are also reports of an explosion being heard.
“In the area where there was heavy damage, there were several air conditioning units. It’s a possibility that it could’ve been a compressor. It could’ve been an aerosol can. It is something we’re looking into but we haven’t determined what that cause was,” says Dorhauer.
Investigators haven’t determined if the fire started inside or outside, but the area near the children is where the heaviest damage was.
Names of the victims have not been released, pending notification of next of kin.
Eleven fire departments, three ambulance services and Osage Beach Police responded to the four-alarm fire. It took crews almost three hours to put out.