ST. LOUIS - Two children are dead and their father critically injured after an early morning house fire in south St. Louis.
“This is going to rip him apart,” said Marie Williams, the aunt of the children’s father.
“That was his life. That’s his life. Those kids were my nephew’s life. He loved those kids. Can you imagine waking up and your kids (are) gone?”
He was single father, raising his two kids alone, she said.
She identified him as Antwan Williams Sr. and the children as Antwan Williams Jr., age 6, and Miracle Williams, age 5.
Firefighters got the call to the home at Fassen and Michigan around 5:15 p.m. They thought it was vacant at first.
They certainly wish that had indeed been the case.
“They made entry through the front door, immediately found three victims on the left side, basically in the front living room; most of the fire was out,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. “It appears the occupants were awakened at some time, tried making it out of the building, and succumbed to the smoke in the front room.”
Medical crews tried to resuscitate the victims. They were rushed to hospitals. The children, in cardiac arrest, died a short time later.
The fire had been burning for quite some time before firefighters were alerted; it essentially used all of the oxygen and burned itself out, Jenkerson said.
“I’ll have questions later. Right now, I just want God to pull my nephew through. That’s all I want,” Marie Williams said.
“Right now, it doesn’t appear that we had working smoke detectors in this building. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of these smoke detectors. They help you get out of these buildings,” Jenkerson said.
St. Louis firefighters offer free smoke detectors and free installation for all city residents upon request.