3 dead in fire near Rolla

ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A woman and two children died and four others were injured Wednesday when fire destroyed a south-central Missouri home where several developmentally disabled children lived, authorities said.

The fire was reported around 9 a.m. Wednesday about two miles south of Rolla. The house was fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.

Mike Kirn of the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the house was a privately run group home for about 14 people with development disabilities. He said the woman killed was the adult daughter of the group home owner.

Authorities said the woman got out of the burning home, but went back inside to try and save the children. The other victims were a 10-year-old girl and an infant. Names of the victims have not been released.

Phelps County Sheriff Richard Lisenbe told KOLR-TV that several rescue crews arrived quickly but couldn’t get inside to save the victims.

“We had officers trying to get in there to get people out but the flames were really bad,” Lisenbe said.

The woman who owned and operated the home was among four people injured and taken to Phelps County Regional Medical Center for treatment. The hospital said all four of the injured — the woman and three children — were treated and released.

No cause has been determined. An investigation continues.

Rolla, a town of about 16,000 residents, is about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.

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