Three killed in house fire started by children

Friday, May 17, 2002

DIAMOND, Mo. -- A couple and a child were killed Thursday in a fire that investigators said was started by children playing with matches.

Gary Patrick, 38, Teresa Patrick, 31, and 11-year-old Kelsee Anderson died in the blaze at the home on Missouri 59 near Diamond. Kelsee was the daughter of Teresa Patrick and stepdaughter of Gary Patrick. When firefighters arrived, the home was engulfed in flames. One adult and four other children escaped the house, said fire chief Mark Garbet, who did not know the relationships of all those in the house.

The Patricks were in a back bedroom and Kelsee was in another bedroom. Firefighters were unable to rescue them because of the intense fire, Garbet said.

Garbet said it was the first fatal house fire in the Diamond area in at least 10 years. He said the tragedy underscored the dangers of children playing with matches.

A Newton County paramedic suffered a minor foot injury while she was helping at the scene, Garbet said.

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