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Mother, 4 children killed in Mo. house fire

Five victims were found inside a burning house in Ferguson.

By Dana Rieck
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

FERGUSON — Five people were found dead after a house fire early Monday in Ferguson.

Authorities initially said there were four people dead but they said later that a fifth person was found. At least one dog also died in the fire.

Firefighters responded just before 4:30 a.m. to a home at 510 North Clay Drive. No information about the people who died was immediately available.

But neighbor Jerry McClure said a woman lived in the home with at least two children, twin boys of about 8 years old.

McClure said he woke Monday morning and noticed a glow coming through his window.

He said he grabbed a coffee and a cigarette and then noticed the house next door was on fire.

He called 911, and he and another neighbor ran to the home.

They tried to wake up the people living inside, but the home was already engulfed in flames.

“The smoke was so bad. I tried to kick the front door,” McClure said. “We just couldn’t wake them up.”

Several neighbors were distraught by the fire on Monday morning.

Neighbors said they called the woman who lived in the home “Birdie,” and a neighbor who would not give his name said she was “a sweet lady.”

Another neighbor, Jamie Young , said the same.

“She was always looking out for the neighborhood,” Young said.

Young said the woman had a few children, and the youngest was a baby when Young moved in more than four years ago.

Young also said at one point the woman had goats, chickens, and turkeys on her property.

She laughed, remembering the time she came home to find a chicken in her front yard.

“I can’t believe it,” Young said through tears. “Those poor babies.”

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