Four members of a family died in a devastating house fire on Sunday morning.
Frances Detter, 74, her husband Joe Detter, 76, their daughter Sherri Detter, 37, and granddaughter Kari Detter, 18, were killed after a huge blaze overtook their home in De Soto at around 2 am.
According to reports, fifteen fire departments were contacted to put out the blaze. The De Soto Rural Fire Department rushed to the scene but it was too late to save the elderly couple, their daughter, and granddaughter.
James Detter, 49, said he last saw his parents, sister, and niece on Saturday as they compiled baskets of donated items for a fundraiser.
He said of his father: “He helped everybody. There isn’t a person in this town he hasn’t done something for. He is going to be missed by everyone.”
Authorities said the staircase connecting the first and second floors had been charred, trapping the family inside the house as the blaze grew.
“Stairs to the second floor had burned through and firefighters had to use ground ladders to access the second story,” officers said.
Only the two men, who were partners of the daughter and granddaughter, managed to escape by jumping out of the windows from the second floor. They also suffered severe burns and were rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Kari’s boyfriend had tried to make her jump out of the window but “she wouldn’t jump,” James Detter said to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He looked up and she was gone,” he added.
Kimberly Detter, Kari’s mother, wrote on Facebook: “I’m still in shock… numb… and don’t know how we are supposed to get through this. Please pray for us.”
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