Third person dies from Tuesday’s South County fire

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(KTVI) - More sadness from Tuesday’s  house fire in South St. Louis County, the youngest victim has died. Maci Gapsch, 11, died Wednesday night.

The fire also killed her great grandmother and father.  The only fire survivor is Maci’s 13-year-old sister Mia.  Mike Gapsch, Mia’s uncle said, “Everything we’re doing is for her. We are worrying about getting her thru this.”

Mike Gapsch is also a Mehlville Firefighter and one of the first to arrive on the scene early Tuesday morning to find his own mother’s home on fire.  Gapsch said, “It’s one of the worst nightmares we’ve had and were just trying to get thru it hour by hour.”

When the fire was over, Mike Gapsch’s mother,  79-year-old Georgetta Gapsch, was dead, so was her son 38-year-old T.J. or Terry, later T.J.’s  daughter 11-year-old Maci would die. Leaving only 13-year-old Mia Gapsch to cope with the tremendous loss. Her mother died a few years ago of cancer. Mia is now out of the hospital.  Mike Gapsch said, “She’s doing better than I thought she’d be doing.  It’s just that she’s going to need a lot of time to get through this she’s  got a lot of family and a lot of support”

Mia attends Sperreng Middle School.  Principal Dr. Mark Eggers said, “We want to take  care of our kids. That’s what we’re about.”

The love and compassion for Mia is overwhelming. Students signed notes of encouragement, giant sympathy cards for their fellow student.  The Lindbergh School District has established a fund for Mia. And, that’s just the beginning of their efforts to help.  Dr. Eggers said, “We’re going to have a group of teachers and parents meet after school today and do some brainstorming and discussing activities, what we can do on a large school wide effort.”  Mike Gapsch added, “This kid’s going to miss so much without her mom and dad.”  Mehlville firefighters are scheduling a charity bar-b-que for Mia the weekend of September 5th.  Mike Gapsch also reminded parents to make sure every family has a plan in the event of a house fire, to ensure everyone’s children know what to do.

The Lindbergh Schools Foundation has set up a fund. People who are interested in supporting the family can do so in two ways:

1. Click here and follow instructions to donate online

2. Mail a check, made payable to “Lindbergh Schools Foundation,” to Lindbergh Schools Foundation, 4900 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63126. Please write “Gapsch Family Fund” in the memo line.

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Two die in South County house fire

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