Officials name victims in deadly condo fire; no cause found
OSAGE BEACH - The Osage Beach Fire Protection District said Thursday the cause of a condo fire that killed four children in Osage Beach could not be determined.
The Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office had completed its on-site investigation Thursday at the Compass Pointe condominiums, and listed the cause of the fire as 'undetermined', according to a news release.
Officials said the building sustained so much damage that evidence needed to determine a cause had been destroyed. The fire marshal said the fire appeared to start just outside the door of the unit where the four children died.
Two-year-old Kairi Helton, 2-year-old Zeza Bradshaw, 4-year-old Lee Ann Hendrickson and 5-year-old Joshua Hendrickson died in the fire. Osage Beach Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer said the children were trapped on the fourth floor of the building. Authorities said the staircase, the children's only way out, was most likely engulfed in flames due to the fire's high heat.
The eight-unit building on Passover Road caught fire Tuesday night about 11:20 p.m.
It took about 60 firefighters more than five hours to put out the flames, according to Dorhauer.
He said in a news conference Wednesday morning multiple witnesses recounted explosions. He said the explosions might have been caused by aerosol cans or air-conditioning units but said the investigation was ongoing at the time.
Authorities said the building was constructed in the 1970's, before current codes were in place, meaning there was no sprinkler system in the condo.
Firefighters said 5-year-old Joshua Hendrickson was a resident of the condo, and the three other children were his cousins visiting for a birthday.
Community members gathered at the condominium Wednesday night to remember the children's lives, some brining flowers and stuffed animals.
If community members would like to give to the family, they can donate to the Hendrickson Memorial Fund at the Central Bank of the Lake of the Ozarks. People can stop by any location to donate or send a check to P.O. Box 207, Osage Beach MO 65065.